The draft board pages include every player who was left unprotected in the 1999 Expansion Draft. The overwhelming majority of players who do not carry over are either old, unproductive, injured, primarily used for fighting, marginal players, minor league veterans, or unsigned European prospects. The majority of pending UFAs (Group III, Group V, and Group VI) will not carry over. Exceptions to these rules are provided if the incumbent team left almost nothing of value available to choose from, in which case everyone gets at least a closer look.
As we are capped by league restrictions to selecting no more than six pending free agents, we must be judicious with our choices.
The Ducks rebounded nicely off a miserable 1997-98 season, finishing 1998-99 with 83 points and making the playoffs for the second time.
Anaheim lost goalie Mikhail Shtalenkov in 1998’s expansion draft and are therefore exempt from losing a goalie this time around.
Defensemen: Byron Briske(Gr.II – RFA), Scott Ferguson, Jamie Pushor(Gr.II – RFA), Terran Sandwith(Gr.VI – UFA), Dan Trebil, Pascal Trepanier, Nikolai Tsulygin
Forwards: Ted Drury, Stu Grimson, Peter Leboutillier, Eric Lecompte(Gr.II – RFA), Jim McKenzie, Tommi Miettinen(UE), Jeff Nielsen, Igor Nikulin(Gr.VI – UFA), Craig Reichert(Gr.VI – UFA), Tomas Sandstrom(Gr.III – UFA), Bob Wren(Gr.II – RFA)
Out of seven defensemen left unprotected, three move to the draft board: Jamie Pushor, Dan Trebil, and Pascal Trepanier. Just one out of eleven unprotected forwards, Ted Drury, will move over as well.
Defenseman Nikolai Tsulygin was on the board in 1998 for Nashville, but headed back to Russia partway through the 1998-99 season. His exclusion from the list this year is based on the very real possibility that he won’t return even if picked.
Tomas Sandstrom is the biggest name who didn’t carry over to the draft board; he’s 35 and a pending Group III free agent.
D Jamie Pushor – 26-year-old defenseman, former 2nd-round pick of Detroit (1991).
The case for taking Pushor – A big (6’3”, 210-pound) physical presence, Pushor came of age in the Detroit system just as they began to transition from promising team to contender to Stanley Cup champion. He played 75 games with the Wings in 1996-97, then 5 more in the playoffs as the team won their first title in 42 years.
Pushor is the type of guy who can do a lot of little things. If you need someone to help hold down a one-goal lead late, he can do that. If a game is getting physical, he can definitely get in there. If you need to play nice conservative hockey with no mistakes, he can do that as well. “Steady” is the word that best describes his game. And since he’s only 26 and would just be getting big minutes for the first time on our expansion team, he could really break through.
In addition, we have a deal in place to flip Pushor for either a 2nd or 3rd-rounder from another team. Getting a nice free asset out of nothing is certainly helpful.
The case against taking Pushor – There really isn’t a decent case against taking Pushor. If he stays with us, he’ll play on the first or second pairing all day. And if we trade him, there’s already a deal to get a high draft pick out of it, so there’s no risk there.
D Pascal Trepanier – 26-year-old defenseman, originally undrafted.
The case for taking Trepanier – There aren’t many puck-moving defensemen in this draft, but Trepanier is one. In the last two years in the minors, he had 27 goals and 84 points in the regular season, then 10 more goals and 25 more points in 30 playoff games. He played all of last year with Anaheim and didn’t produce offense, mostly because he couldn’t crack the Ducks’ lethal first power play unit; the second unit was patchwork. As one of the better offensive defensemen in this draft, we shouldn’t have any trouble getting him onto our first unit.
The case against taking Trepanier – Well, the fact that he didn’t produce at all in the NHL when given an extended look is a pretty good reason to look elsewhere. Okay, Trepanier couldn’t make it onto the top power play unit. Despite getting around 13 minutes of ice time a night, he produced a total of two goals and two assists at even strength in 45 games. He also played up on the wing quite a bit, so it’s not like we’re talking about someone who’s never in a position to produce offense. He put up some nice numbers in the minors, so far they haven’t carried over, and there’s a pretty good chance they never will.
D Dan Trebil – 25-year-old defenseman, originally a 6th-round pick of New Jersey (1992)
The case for taking Trebil – He was a big part of a Minnesota Golden Gophers squad that won three WCHA championships in four years, and captained the team his last two years there. His emergence in his first pro year in 1996-97 pushed him up the organization depth chart, past more touted defensemen like Nikolai Tsulygin. He’s a smart positional defenseman who can produce some offense; he put up big numbers in college and has done the same in the minors.
The case against taking Trebil – He hasn’t been able to stay in the lineup or in one spot. Two seasons ago he had 32 AHL games and 21 in the NHL, and last year 52 in the AHL and just 6 in the NHL. He looked better than he is initially because he came in with no expectations and played well his first year. Then under Pierre Page two seasons ago, he was in the NHL because the depth was significantly depleted. And this past year under Craig Hartsburg, it became apparent that he’s just not good enough. If he were 21 and not good enough to stick right now, it would be one thing. He’s 25, and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast.
F Ted Drury – 28-year-old forward, originally a 2nd-round pick of Calgary (1989)
The case for taking Drury – He’s had one of the most interesting careers of any available player. Two-time WJC participant, two-time Olympian, a World Championships, an NCAA All-American, and Harvard team captain in a year when he averaged over two points per game. And before his first pro season was completed, he was traded as part of a blockbuster between Calgary and Hartford. He ended up in Ottawa by way of the waiver draft, then was sent to Anaheim in another big move that added serious depth to a Senators team that used that to make the playoffs for the first time.
The way that the league is going, forwards need to have two things: speed and defense. And if there are two things Drury has, it’s speed and defense. Most of his ice time is on the third and fourth lines, but as soon as there’s a penalty to be killed he’s the first center over the boards. Teams pay a premium for someone like Drury, and inevitably someone will pay a hefty price if we take him.
The case against taking Drury – His offense is mostly non-existent, partially because he’s down on the fourth line and mostly because he’s down on the fourth line. He’s been punted there because he couldn’t play well enough to stave off the challenges of luminaries such as Johan Davidsson, Antti Aalto, and Matt Cullen. He was moved to the wing just to get him into the lineup, where neither he nor Jeff Nielsen (another former big college scorer) have been able to get anything out of each other. Drury has been given chances in his previous stops without emerging offensively, and he’s had his chances in Anaheim as well. Ottawa gave him power play time and he couldn’t do anything with it. Sure, he’s pretty good defensively, but there’s just no offense coming out of whatever line he’s on. His career best plus-minus is a +2; he’s been a minus player every other year (a cumulative -56).