The Anaheim Ducks have announced their prospect line-up for the five-team tournament taking place in Penticton, British Columbia from September 12th-16th. The full list of prospects can be found here, but here are five prospects to keep an eye on:
5. Kyle Palmieri, RW
Palmieri is a hard-working agitator with a scoring touch. The Ducks' 2nd 1st round pick in 2009 (after a guy we'll meet later), Palmieri is small but tough and he has a good release on his shot. He also likes to have a good time. Palmieri had a bit of a lackluster season last year so it's important for him to get off to a good start at this camp. Long term, Palmieri will likely be an energy guy on the third or 4th line. The only thing you'll guarantee is that he'll be annoying, which means he'll fit in perfectly in Anaheim.
4. Nick Bonino, C
Bonino isn't the best center prospect the Ducks have, but he's the best hope the Ducks have to turn into a complement to Ryan Getzlaf in the near-term. Acquired in the Travis Moen trade, Bonino led Boston University in scoring and then chipped in a goal and an assist in 9 games for the Anaheim Ducks at the end of the season. If the Ducks are looking to roll 3 scoring lines to start the season, Bonino has a pretty good chance of making the squad. He'll likely be the Ducks' best offensive weapon at prospect camp.
3. Benn Olson, D
Olsen is not a great hockey player and he'll never make the NHL but he's 23 years old and 6'4" and 210 lbs.; there is a not insignificant chance he'll kill someone during this tournament. Olson was in 17 fights last season (you can check out his fight card here) and he'll undoubtedly get into a few this weekend. The best part of these meaningless little tournaments is that people fight a lot so feel free to revel in it.
2. Peter Holland, C
The long-term replacement for Saku Koivu as the Ducks' 2nd line center, Holland broke out to the tune of 79 points in 59 games last season. Holland was drafted 15th overall in 2009 and has done nothing to make the Ducks regret that pick since. Tall and lanky, Holland needs probably 2 years before he's ready to break into the Ducks' line-up but he should provide the Ducks with a solid 2nd line center in the future.
1. Emerson Etem & Cam Fowler, LW & D
The Ducks were either fortunate to land the two biggest fallers of the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft or they were the only team that didn't see the reasons those two fell. Either way they're intriguing prospects and should be fun to watch. Etem has all the physical tools but some doubt his hockey intelligence while Fowler is the opposite; no one questions his IQ but worry about his soft shot and ability to make people miss at the NHL level. There are rumblings Fowler might make the Ducks out of training camp while Etem is most likely headed back to Junior and will represent the USA in the Under-20 World Championships in December. Both should be very fun to watch in this tournament.
The Ducks are expected to broadcast 2 of the 3 prospect games over the weekend. More information can be found on the Ducks website.