Anaheim Ducks, Column, News and Rumors, Scott Harrington, Trevor Zegras, William Nylander

Ducks News & Rumors: Nylander, Prospects & More

August is generally a slow time of the year for the NHL. But September is only a week away, and the Anaheim Ducks have had a relatively busy week in the news. In today’s Anaheim Ducks News & Rumors, we take a look at a familiar face signing a tryout contract. Anaheim’s prospect pool received high praise this week from a prominent prospect analyst. And finally, Anaheim has been in trade rumors with an Original 6 franchise.

Ducks Sign Harrington to PTO

Scott Harrington, who appeared in 17 games with the Ducks last season, has signed a professional tryout (PTO) contract. The veteran defenseman arrived in Anaheim last season after being dealt to San Jose in the Timo Meier trade and subsequently being placed on waivers by the Sharks. He has appeared in 255 NHL games and has 49 career points.

Related: Ducks to Give Defensive Prospects Plenty of Time to Develop

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Harrington may not be the most exciting player on the roster, but he played a reserve role admirably last year. In the weirdest bit of trivia involving last season’s Ducks squad, Harrington led the team in plus-minus with a whopping plus-1. While this move introduces yet another roadblock for one of the several defensive prospects in the system, this is par for the course for the Ducks, as they’ve been more than willing to let their prospects develop in the lower levels. Harrington gives the team additional depth on the left side, which could directly affect Jackson LaCombe’s chances of making the team out of camp.

Ducks Top Pronman’s Prospect Pool Rankings

Being told the Ducks have one of the premier prospect groups in the league is nothing new. Five straight seasons of no postseason play has allowed the team to stock up on high-end lottery picks, and the fruits of their ineptitude are finally starting to bloom. The Athletic’s Corey Pronman is impressed enough with their prospect class that he ranked the Ducks as having the best prospect pool in the NHL (from, Anaheim Ducks rank No. 1 in NHL Pipeline Rankings for 2023, The Athletic, Aug. 24, 2023).

Trevor Zegras Anaheim Ducks
Trevor Zegras, Anaheim Ducks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Pronman’s rankings are a bit unique in that he’ll stretch the definition of prospect to include players entering the season under the age of 22. This means Trevor Zegras and his 180 career NHL games are still considered Anaheim’s top prospect in this exercise. While it may stretch the definition of prospect, the rankings are meant to reflect how well-equipped a team is going into the future, and players in their younger 20s certainly help form that future.

Analyst Sees ‘Perfect Fit’ with Nylander, Ducks

It’s no secret that the Toronto Maple Leafs are in a bit of a salary cap crunch. Their big three forward group of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander are increasingly more difficult to build around with a flat salary cap. With Matthews signing a four-year extension and Marner signed beyond this year, Nylander appears to be the odd man out in a seemingly inevitable trade scenario.

William Nylander Toronto Maple Leafs
William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

One of the things a team with a loaded prospect pool can afford to do is to package several of those prospects to acquire a high-end player. The Ducks are operating closer to the salary cap floor and are more than capable of taking on Nylander’s contract and any subsequent extension. NHL Network analyst Mike Rupp sees the fit with Nylander and the Ducks, and it’s easy to see why. Nylander would provide an instant boost of offense to one of the lowest-scoring teams in the league a year ago.

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The biggest obstacle to a deal would be Toronto’s asking price for Nylander. It stands to reason they’d be interested in Anaheim’s prospect pool, but they don’t have the leverage for multiple picks or prospects. THW’s Michael DeRosa is looking at Anaheim’s loaded left side of the defense for a potential deal. He believes Pavel Mintyukov and a lottery-protected first-round pick would be enough to get a deal done. While it would hurt to lose one of the higher-end prospects in the system, it hurts less with fellow prospects Olen Zellweger and Tyson Hinds still in the fold.

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