An overview of the Ducks prospect pool: Forwards

Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports
The Sporting Tribune's Derek Lee overviews the final set of Anaheim Ducks forward prospects.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The last piece of my overview of the Ducks’ prospect pool is finally here, with the remaining eight forward prospects each given their fair shake.

Pavol Regenda, 23

6-foot-3 | 218 pounds | Shoots left

Regenda got his first taste of the NHL last season, making the Ducks out of training camp and scoring his first NHL goal against the Wild in November.

However, he played in just 14 games for Anaheim before being reassigned to San Diego and he wouldn’t be recalled for the remainder of the season. 25 points in 50 games was good enough for seventh-best on a Gulls team that was pretty devoid of offense.

A nasty hit toward the end of the season that left Regenda with a concussion ended his season early but the Slovakian is back healthy and competed for Slovakia at the IIHF World Championships this summer.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) makes a glove save on Anaheim Ducks left wing Pavol Regenda (40) as Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dylan DeMelo (2) watches the play in the first period at Canada Life Centre. (James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports)

Regenda has a bit more size compared to the other prospects on this list and I briefly considered whether he should even be on here given his age. But, he did just come over to North America last year after playing professionally in Slovakia for the last couple of years.

He’s on the bubble when it comes to cracking the Ducks’ opening night roster this season, but another strong showing in preseason like last year could give him the edge.

Blake McLaughlin, 23

5–foot-11 | 185 pounds | Shoots left

It’s been a rough go for Blake McLaughlin thus far in his pro career. After signing his ELC in April 2022 following the conclusion of his senior season with Minnesota, McLaughlin has struggled to adjust to the speed and physicality of the AHL.

After scoring one point (his first pro goal) in seven games at the tail-end of the 2021-22 AHL season, he went 24 games this past season without scoring a point before being assigned to the Tulsa Oilers in the ECHL.

He fared much better there, putting up 34 points in 43 games and developing some chemistry with fellow Ducks prospect Max Golod—until Golod was dealt away to the Rockford IceHogs at the trade deadline.

At 5-foot-11, McLaughlin is considered “undersized” for the average NHL player, though of course, we’ve seen many players with heights under six feet succeed at the NHL level.

For McLaughlin, it’s simply about making decisions quicker and being in the right place at the right time. He’s shown flashes of his ability from time to time but he could potentially get squeezed out and head back to Tulsa if he doesn’t impress with an influx of forwards coming in.

Michael Callow, 19

6-foot-4 | 195 pounds | Shoots right

After spending this past season with Muskegon in the USHL, Callow will be heading to Harvard to play college hockey with fellow Ducks prospect, Ian Moore. Callow is already a big boy at 6-foot-4, though he’s certainly capable of adding a lot more weight to his slight frame.

His 40 points in 61 games were good enough for fourth-best on a Lumberjacks team that finished below .500. His 21 goals were second on the team.

Callow will be joining a Harvard team that lost a lot of players to the pro ranks, especially among their forwards. He could potentially play a big role, much like Marek Hejduk did for them last year if he adjusts quickly to collegiate hockey.

Albin Sundsvik, 22

6-foot-2 | 187 pounds | Shoots left

A sixth-round pick in the 2020 draft, it’s been difficult for Sundsvik to carve out a role since he transitioned to pro hockey in Sweden. He fared well playing against his age group in the J20 SuperElit and at World Juniors, but once he began playing against bigger and stronger players, the points totals dwindled.

14 points is the highest total he’s reached since he became a full-time pro and that was back in 2020-21. Sundsvik has played plenty of games during his tenure as a pro player in the SHL, but his role appears to have been minimized to one of a checking forward.

After spending the last four seasons with Skellefteå, he signed a two-year deal with Rögle this offseason. Sundsvik cited Rögle’s reputation as a team that develops players well as a reason behind why he decided to sign with them.

He’s already scored a couple of goals during preseason for them so perhaps he’s able to carve out a larger role with his new team. He’s also capable of playing as a center or a wing, which should help his case to stay in the lineup every game.

Trevor Janicke, 22

5-foot-10 | 200 pounds | Shoots right

Janicke is returning to Notre Dame for his fifth collegiate hockey season thanks to the extra year of eligibility he received due to being in college during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to his time at Notre Dame, he was a part of the US National Team Development Program (US NTDP) for two seasons and was on the 2018 team that won silver at the U18 IIHF World Championships. He also spent one season with the Central Illinois Flying Aces—as their captain—in the USHL in 2018-19, putting up 48 points in 58 games.

At 5-foot-10, Janicke is also an undersized forward and his stagnating production in college leaves a lot to be desired. There’s no doubt he’s one of Notre Dame’s leaders and he should play a big role for them this upcoming season, but his pro hockey prospects are murky at best.

Kyle Kukkonen, 20

5-foot-10 | 175 pounds | Shoots right

Kukkonen is coming off of a terrific freshman season with Michigan Tech in which he was named the NCAA Rookie of the Year for the CCHA conference and named to the NCAA (CCHA) All-Rookie Team.

He had 27 points in 39 games during the regular season and though he didn’t score, he had some opportune chances during Michigan Tech’s Frozen Four run. His 18 goals led the entire team.

Kukkonen was a late draft pick by Anaheim in 2021, selected in the sixth round. After dominating high school hockey and averaging nearly a point per game in the USHL in 2021-22 with the Madison Capitols, he has continued to build on his previous successes.

He will likely have a bigger role with Michigan Tech this upcoming season and another strong showing––while putting on some more weight––could see him rise up the Ducks’ prospect rankings.

Carey Terrance, 18

6 feet | 174 pounds | Shoots left

Terrance was drafted by Anaheim in the second round of this year’s draft and was the star player for an Erie Otters team that didn’t do well as a whole. He led the team in both goals (30) and points (47) and was the only player on the team to score 20+ goals.

He’s been playing down the middle for Erie but the Ducks believe his long-term future at the NHL level would be as a winger. Terrance has been more than comfortable playing as both a center and a wing as well.

Terrance’s strong showing this past season earned him a spot on Team USA for the U18 World Championships. He was one of the few players on the team that wasn’t part of the US NTDP, but that didn’t stop him from making an impact as he had six points in seven games during the tournament—with Team USA taking home the gold medal.

Erie will rely on Terrance once again this upcoming season as he takes on a bigger role. He was also one of the alternate captains last season and presumably will fill that role as a leader for the Otters once again.

Yegor Sidorov, 19

6 feet | 180 pounds | Shoots left

Sidorov went viral for his reaction to being drafted by Anaheim this summer. After conducting draft interviews with the Ducks last year in Montreal, he went undrafted. All he did was pot 40 goals for the Saskatoon Blades this past season to go with 76 points, more than doubling his points total from the 2021-22 season.

Anaheim Ducks prospect Yegor Sidorov skates with the puck during a scrimmage at development camp. (Derek Lee-The Sporting Tribune)

He led the Blades in goals and was second on the team in points behind Trevor Wong. Wong and Sidorov both returned to Saskatoon for the 2023-24 season and will look to carry the brunt of the offense once again along with Brandon Lisowsky.

Sidorov has already scored once during preseason and will head to Southern California soon for rookie camp like many of the Ducks prospects are doing this week. With how lethal his shot is, improving his skating and defensive zone work could turn him from a good player into a great player.