Hello, Neighbo(u)rs: Anaheim Ducks - LA Kings Insider

2016-17 record: 46-23-13, 105 points; 1st place, Pacific Division; 3rd place, Western Conference
2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Lost in third round to Nashville (six games)
Corsi-for rate: 49.7% (19th)
Additions: G Ryan Miller, F Dennis Rasmussen, D Francois Beauchemin
Subtractions: G Jonathan Bernier, D Shea Theodore, D Clayton Stoner, F Nate Thompson

It’s everybody’s favorite day on LA Kings Insider – the Anaheim Ducks preview!

There were no major changes in Anaheim over the off-season. Back-up goalies were shuffled, with veteran Ryan Miller signed to spell starter John Gibson, who was terrific when healthy in the second half of the season as he posted a .941 save percentage from January 1 onward.

Anaheim was in a tough position heading into the expansion draft and had to part with talented young offensive defenseman Shea Theodore but still retains perhaps the deepest defensive corps in the league. There isn’t necessarily a game-breaking #1 defender – though Hampus Lindholm continues to grow towards being one, and Cam Fowler took probably the biggest step forward of his career last season – but a defensive group that includes Lindholm, Fowler, Josh Manson, Sami Vatanen, Kevin Bieksa, Brandon Montour and once again Francois Beauchemin is the most significant strength of this team.

Forward Rickard Rakell scored 33 goals in 71 games, and Patrick Eaves popped in an impressive 11 in 20. These performances, along with the continued maturation of players such as Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase, are needed to complement Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler, who should rely on more regular production from their wings. Corey Perry, who some Kings fans are likely aware of, failed to reach 20 goals for the first full season in a decade, falling from 62 points to 53 despite an improved assist rate.

The Ducks’ special teams fell (from an elite perch) in Randy Carlyle’s return, though their penalty killing remains terrific and ranked fourth in the league with an 84.7% success rate. Since 2013-14, Anaheim’s combined 83.9% penalty killing clip ranks second in the league behind pace-setting St. Louis.

For expert analysis of the Ducks, LAKI consulted with Eric Stephens of the OC Register. Enjoy!

HELLO, NEIGHBO(U)RS: Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Vegas Golden Knights

Banner photo courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images

Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.