Ducks Draft Five New Players

It was a not a terribly busy day for the Anaheim Ducks at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, but it was productive.

In addition to drafting offensive defenseman, Shea Theodore in the first round with the 26th overall pick, the Ducks had four other picks.

In the second round, at #45 overall, the Ducks selected right wing Nick Sorensen.

"I felt very good after meeting with Anaheim," said Sorensen after being chosen.  "It was the team I really wanted to go to. I couldn't be happier.  The Ducks have so many good players. (Corey) Perry and (Ryan) Getzlaf obviously. I'm really happy also because [Hampus] Lindholm and [Rickard] Rakell are good friends of mine. I was really hoping it was Anaheim, a great situation for me."

Sorensen, who was born in Denmark,  finished eighth among QMJHL rookie scoring leaders, with 47 points (20g/27a) in 46 games during the 2012-13 season. On the Quebec Ramparts, Sorensen finished the season ranked fifth in team scoring and finished the year with a +10 rating and six power-play goals.

Sorensen had several injuries, but when healthy he has been productive.   One scout remarked that "he's got reeally good hands and good size and there's nothing wrong with his offensive instincts."   While not the best skater in the bunch, he still has a knack for getting open.

"He's going to have to have a good center who can get him the puck," said another scout.  "I don't see him as a guy who's going to be a big puck carrier, but he has good awareness and he knows where to go."

Anaheim also drafted defenseman Keaton Thompson in the third round (87th overall), right wing Grant Besse (fifth round, 147th overall), and center Miro Aaltonen (sixth round, 177th overall).

Thompson is a smooth skating blueliner who scored four goals and 19 points with a +13 rating and 34 PIM in 63 games with the United States Under-18 Development Program (NTDP) last season. Among team defensemen, Thompson finished second in scoring and assists, and third in goals. The 6-0, 187-pound blueliner has spent two seasons in the program.  Thompson is scheduled to attend the University of North Dakota of the WCHA in the fall.  He hails from Devils Lake, ND.

Besse, 18, appeared in 25 contests with Benilde-St. Margaret’s Catholic Prep last season, earning 44 goals and 69 points with 16 PIM.  While a bit on the small side at 5'9" and 170 pounds, he is still filling out.  Next year the winger is planning on attending the University of Wisconsin, where he will be playing with the Ducks 2012 second-round selection, Nicolas Kerdiles. A native of Edina, MN, Besse was bestowed with the 2013 Minnesota Mr. Hockey award this past season as the top senior player in Minnesota prep hockey. He helped Benilde-St. Margaret’s capture the 2012 Minnesota State hockey championship, setting a state tournament record by scoring all five of the Red Knights’ goals (three of them short-handed) in their 5-1 victory over Hill-Murray (St. Paul, MN) on Mar. 11, 2012.

Aaltonen, 20, hails from Finland and spent last year with the Espoo Blues of the Finnish Elite League.  He scored 11 goals and 16 points with 22 PIM in 32 games.  He also represented his country at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, recording 2-1=3 points with a +2 rating in one game before suffering an ankle injury that caused him to miss the remainder of the tournament. Aaltonen is 5'10" and 168 pounds.

“We look for guys who we are passionate about as a staff, and Shea was the first one on our list,” said Ducks Director of Amateur Scouting Martin Madden. “We love the way he thinks the game, his mobility and his ability to bring offense from the point on the power play. Overall, we believe we got good players and value in the spots we selected from tonight.”

The Ducks usually hold a rookies and prospects camp in early summer that gives players a head start on nutrition, training and basic systems that will help them as they head towards training camp and prepare them for competing for a spot on the team.

About Karen Francis

Just a diehard Ducks fan since 1995, when the team filled the hockey shaped vacuum in my heart.