If you bet on the Anaheim Ducks to sail into Wednesday’s action with three rookies in their top six, give yourself a pat on the back.
Anaheim will face the Arizona Coyotes at home Wednesday night. They defeated the Detroit Red Wings in the shootout on Monday and dropped the Coyotes 1-0 on Saturday. They knocked off the Sharks in the season opener.
All the while, the rookies have been doing their thing.
Max Comtois has a point in each of his first three NHL games, adding an assist on Monday against the Red Wings. He now has two goals, an assist, four shots, and a dozen hits. Not bad for a 19-year-old from Longueuil.
Comtois is a big dude and those hit stats are something, especially considering the fact that he racked up seven against the Red Wings. He’s been skating on the second line with Jakob Silfverberg and centre Sam Steel.
The rookies have arrived in Anaheim in large part because of injuries to top stars. Ryan Getzlaf is on the shelf with a lower body injury and that’s cleared the way for Adam Henrique to pivot the top line alongside Rickard Rakell and Troy Terry.
Terry scored the shootout winner against Detroit, the only goal in the shootout Monday, and put the puck through Jimmy Howard’s legs. He’s earned a reputation as a shootout specialist of sorts.
Terry started camp with Getzlaf and there was chemistry right out of the gate, so the Ducks are hoping for more of the same when the centre returns. For now, the Denver native has great vision. He’s registered two shots on goal thus far and will need to rise to the opportunity, but Anaheim likes him an awful lot.
The aforementioned Steel, who’s been appearing with Comtois, is the third rookie in the Ducks’ top six.
Not only does the Sherwood Park native have one of the best names in hockey, he’s a pretty durable playmaker. He’s capable of highlight reel goals, as Anaheim watchers know from preseason action, and he’s ready to step up in Ryan Kesler’s absence. How long he’ll have the hammer down the middle remains to be seen, but the Ducks are hoping for big things.
Anaheim has Getzlaf, Kesler, Ondrej Kase, and Corey Perry out with injuries and that’s given Steel, Comtois and Terry opportunities. But the rubber will hit the road and the Ducks will have decisions to make. If all three rookies stick around, they could enjoy some serious production as the squad seeks to cement itself this season.