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Golden Knights Rivals: Getzlaf Era Over, Ducks Stocking Up on Prospects

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ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 18: Anaheim Ducks Center Ryan Getzlaf (15) reacts after a Ducks goal in the second period of a game against the Arizona Coyotes played on March 18, 2021 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)

Welcome back to the final installment of our series here at Vegas Hockey Now, where we look at all the teams in the Pacific Division and analyze what they did this offseason. With the Golden Knights missing the playoffs last season, keeping an eye on the other teams in the Pacific is key.

The Anaheim Ducks, who the Golden Knights played Monday afternoon in their final prospect game, are loaded with young talent. Troy Terry, Trevor Zegras, and Jamie Drysdale have already broken into the NHL, and Mason McTavish, Olen Zellweger, and Jacob Perreault are likely to follow. This year’s Ducks, now without Ryan Getzlaf, will look to be a competitive team amidst their rebuild.

The Golden Knights are 20-4 all-time against the Ducks and have never played them in a playoff series. They will play the Ducks only three times this upcoming season, despite teams who are in the same division usually playing four times. This was also the case for the VGK and Vancouver Canucks.

ANAHEIM DUCKS

Last Season- 31-37-14, 76 points. Missed playoffs.

2022-23 Matchups- 10/28, home at 3:00, 12/28, away at 7:00, 2/12 home, at 12:00

Notable Additions- John Klingberg, Frank Vatrano, Ryan Strome, Dmitry Kulikov

Notable Subtractions- Ryan Getzalf, Sam Steel, Sonny Milano, Zach Aston-Reese

The Ducks added a couple of solid additions via free agency with John Klingberg, Frank Vatrano, and Ryan Strome. All are under-the-radar players that can help the Ducks compete. But overall, the Ducks roster is not one incredibly intimidating.

They have some young star players in Zegras, Terry, and Drysdale, but not a strong enough core yet to compete for a playoff spot. However, in net, they have one of the best goaltenders in the league with Pittsburgh native John Gibson. Last season he had a .904 save percentage on a struggling team.

We saw the Ducks go on a couple of hot streaks last season and even occupy a playoff spot. But on paper, this year’s team from Orange County is one of the weakest in the Pacific Division. Still, the Golden Knights will need to be prepared in every matchup against Evgenii Dadonov’s “former team.”

VHN’s Pacific Division Prediction– 8th Pacific Division, 14th Western Conference

Projected Depth Chart

Adam Henrique- Trevor Zegras- Troy Terry

Mason McTavish- Ryan Strome- Frank Vatrano

Max Comtois- Isac Lundestrom- Jakob Silfverberg

Max Jones- Derek Grant- Sam Carrick

Cam Fowler- Jamie Drysdale

Urho Vaakaninen- John Klingberg

Dmitry Kulikov- Kevin Shattenkirk

John Gibson/Anthony Stolarz

Welcome to your new home for Vegas Golden Knights breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to VHN+ for all of our members-only content the entire Vegas Hockey Now crew plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Owen Krepps covers the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now. A 2022 Robert Morris University graduate, he has previously written for RMU Sentry Media, Colonial Sports Network, The Titusville Herald, Pittsburgh Sports Now, and Pittsburgh Hockey Now.

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