Ellis likely to start; New third line?; Black Aces up.

Dan Ellis was the first of the three Ducks goalies to leave the ice at the morning skate. That’s usually a good sign that he will be the starter, as if the writing weren’t on the wall already.

At his post-skate presser, Randy Carlyle at once declined to name his starter and explained why he doesn’t: “I’m sure that Barry Trotz and his staff have dissected what all three of our goalies have done. They probably had to do more work because we know who’s going to play for Nashville.”

Meanwhile, the forward lines stayed the same:


Brandon McMillan is definitely skating at right wing. I think I might have mistakenly penciled him down on the left side earlier, maybe because that’s the only position other than center he’s played in his first NHL season. Switching a productive two-way center to the right side in favor of another rookie (Bonino) who hasn’t scored a point in the NHL all season is a bit unexpected, assuming Beleskey, Bonino and McMillan are in the lineup tonight against Nashville.

Carlyle, of course, had his reasons.
Continue reading “Ellis likely to start; New third line?; Black Aces up.” »

Down on the farm, some Ducklings are hatching.

The Syracuse Crunch can loosely be broken down into two
groups of players: Those who are still developing, and those you might see in
Anaheim this season.

Nick Bonino and Kyle Palmieri cut to the front of the
promotion line with strong performances last week. By Wednesday they were in
Ducks uniforms, playing against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

That might have been ahead of the curve for both, who are
just beginning their first full season in professional hockey. Even though
Ducks fans have been hearing about Bonino and Palmieri for more than a year, if
anything they have been fast-tracked to the NHL.

“In baseball, most of the top prospects get put into
Single-A and work their way up,” said David McNab, the Ducks’ senior vice
president of hockey operations. “It doesn’t appear that they draft a player and
immediately stick them in Triple A. that’s what the American League is:
Triple-A baseball. It’s a tough league. There’s a lot of veteran hockey players
in the American Hockey League who are great players. It takes time.”

Continue reading “Down on the farm, some Ducklings are hatching.” »

Kyle Palmieri recalled from Syracuse.

Recognizing the need for more offense against the NHL’s best offensive club, the Ducks have recalled right wing Kyle Palmieri from AHL affiliate Syracuse.

In his second week as a professional hockey player, the 19-year-old had five goals in three games last week for the Crunch to earn AHL player of the week honors. For the season Palmieri had seven goals (tied for the league lead) and nine points in nine games.

On Monday the Ducks recalled Nick Bonino, who had been centering the line with Palmieri and left wing Nicolas Deschamps, and the two could will be paired together (according to Randy Carlyle) tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“It’s all positives when you’ve got young players in their first foray into the American Hockey League and they’re playing to a top level,” Carlyle said Tuesday.

Ducks assistant general manager David McNab said Tuesday that Palmieri and Bonino will both have to prove they can perform at the NHL level before determining whether they can be counted on long-term to help the Ducks. But Palmieri’s accomplishments in a short time in the AHL speak for themselves.

“I don’t know if there’s another 19-year-old in the AHL or not. Most guys are in junior until they’re 20,” McNab said. “Very few under-20 players play in that league. He’s walked in and scored goals, done everything that you wanted. He’s been – not a surprise – but to play this well this early, and score as many goals as he has, just his play all around as well, he’s a guy who likes to shoot the puck, likes to score goals, gets chances and plays hard. In a 30-team league and your second week as a pro hockey player, to be player of the week in the AHL, not many guys do that.”

More from McNab on the development of other Ducks prospects in the AHL in a future blog soon.

Ducks trim training camp roster by 12.

A total of 12 players were cut from the Ducks’ training camp roster today: Nick Bonino, Rob Bordson, Mat Clark, Nicolas Deschamps, Joe DiPenta, Brandon McMillan, Mark Mitera and Kyle Palmieri were assigned to American Hockey League affiliate Syracuse. Emerson Etem (Medicine Hat/WHL), Peter Holland (Guelph/OHL), Devante Smith-Pelly (Mississauga/OHL) and Scott Valentine (Oshawa/OHL) were assigned to their respective junior teams.

None of the assignments were unexpected. DiPenta, who had already signed an AHL contract, was in camp on a pro tryout but not expected to make the NHL team.

Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said he was impressed with the Long Beach native Etem, a first-round draft pick in June and Smith-Pelly, a second-round pick.

Continue reading “Ducks trim training camp roster by 12.” »

Ducks 4, Vancouver 2.

The Ducks went out winners at the Young Stars tournament in Penticton, B.C., topping the Vancouver Canucks’ rookies 4-2.

After two straight losses in which they were outmuscled for net position and looked lost on special teams, the kids turned it around in a major way. A pair of power-play goals, by Rob Bordson and Cam Fowler, staked the Ducks to a 2-0 lead through two periods.

In the third, Vancouver came back to tie the game at 2 against goaltender Timo Pielmeier, who lost the tournament opener Sunday. But center Maxime Macenauer, who spent all of last season with ECHL affiliate Bakersfield, scored the game-winner with less than three minutes to play. Kyle Palmieri’s empty-net goal provided the final score.

The Ducks led in the shot column, 33-18, and Pielmeier needed only 16 saves for the win. Russian goalie Igor Bobkov was on the bench for the first time in the tournament, but the Ducks’ third-round 2009 draft pick did not appear in the game.

Some of the rookie camp participants will take part in the Ducks’ main camp, which begins Saturday in Anaheim.
Continue reading “Ducks 4, Vancouver 2.” »

Deschamps MIA as junior team advances.

The Moncton Wildcats will compete for the Memorial Cup after clinching the QMJHL title Monday, but will do so without Ducks prospect Nicolas Deschamps.

Deschamps, a second-round draft pick in 2008, has just begun to walk without crutches in his recovery from a leg injury April 23. Wildcats head coach Danny Flynn told the Moncton (New Brunswick) Times and Transcript that Deschamps is “participating in off-ice workouts and steadily improving, but he’s not at the point where he can play yet.”

The Ducks signed Deschamps to a three-year, entry level contract last summer.

North American prospects report; Parros on TV.

Reviews of ten Ducks prospects who just finished their North American junior seasons have been posted on Hockey’s Future: Peter Holland, Mat Clark, Josh Brittain Scott Valentine, Luca Sbisa, Brandon McMillan, Stefan Warg, Nicolas Deschamps, Marco Cousineau and Radoslav Illo.

Also, George Parros will be on a special all-Hockey episode of “Sports Soup” tonight on Versus (8:30 p.m.).  A disclaimer: Watched the show once to find Sen Dog of Cypress Hill talking about the Lakers. If this brand of talk show is your idea of entertainment … don’t miss it.

Prospect update: Palmieri in limbo, Deschamps in title series.

The status of Ducks prospect Kyle Palmieri, who was booked Sunday for resisting arrest and minor consumption, is still in limbo. According to the South Bend Tribune, Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson is out of town for various meetings and was not able to comment on what will happen to the freshman hockey player.

Palmieri was taken by the Ducks with the 26th overall pick in the 2009 draft.

The news was better for prospect Nicolas Deschamps, whose Moncton Wildcats are set to begin a best-of-seven series against the Saint John Sea Dogs on Friday for the QMJHL championship.

Deschamps, a second-round pick by the Ducks in 2008, finished second in the QMJHL in scoring (39 goals, 96 points) in the regular season.

Prospect Deschamps switches teams.

Forward prospect Nicolas Deschamps, currently playing in the QMJHL, was traded Wednesday from the Chicoutimi Saguenens to the Moncton Wildcats for Matthew Bissonnette, Jeremy Barriault, a fourth round pick in 2010 and a first round pick in 2011.

Deschamps, a second-round draft pick in 2008, has 18 goals and 26 assists in 31 games this season.