In Ducks’ 30th anniversary season, who are their top 30 players of all time? – Press Enterprise



The Ducks have had plenty to celebrate over their 30 seasons of existence, the pinnacle of which was their Stanley Cup triumph in 2007. This year, they’ll be infusing fanfare into a celebratory campaign that will bring back legends, reintroduce logos and reflect on a proud history that’s added a refreshing element to Southern California hockey and given Orange County a team to call its own.

While the coaches, owners and fans can all be celebrated, at the end of the day, a franchise’s legacy is all about its players. Ducks broadcaster and former NHL goalie Brian Hayward, who has been with the organization since Day 1, gave us an assist in compiling a list of the top 30 players to ever don a Ducks sweater. The Southern California News Group and Hayward collaborated on the list, with the comments for players 16-30 coming from SCNG and those for the top 15 coming directly from Hayward.

SCNG selects players 16 through 30:

30. Trevor Zegras – A placeholder for things to come, representing his promise and that of this new generation of Ducks.

29. George Parros – Parros led a lineage of enforcers that also included Stu Grimson and Todd Ewen.

28. Andrew Cogliano – Cogliano was a pro’s pro, combining meticulous preparation with Herculean lower-body strength.

27. Todd Marchant – Cogliano had wheels, but Marchant could flat-out fly. He lent that speed to a defensive role in the 2007 Cup run.

26. Petr Sykora – Sykora scored the game-winning goal in the longest game in Ducks history, a quintuple-overtime affair against Dallas, en route to the 2003 Stanley Cup Final.

25. Jakob Silfverberg – Only one thing needs to be said: “Ohh-ahh, Silf-ver-berg, Ohh-ahh, Silf-ver-berg!”

24. François Beauchemin – A secondary contributor in 2007, he returned for a second stint in a leadership role.

23. Rob Niedermeyer – Blazing speed must run in the family because he and his brother Scott both made the list.

22. Jonas Hiller – The Swiss netminder’s 162 wins rank fourth in franchise history.

21. John Gibson – Gibson has made more saves than any other Ducks goalie, and could continue climbing this list.

20. Keith Carney – Super steady and never more so than during the five-OT game in which he logged more than 56 minutes.

19. Bobby Ryan – Ryan was the consolation prize for missing out on Sidney Crosby, and he trails only Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya among Ducks in goals per game.

18. Hampus Lindholm – Soft-spoken and gentle off the ice, Lindholm rewarded the Ducks for taking him sixth overall.

17. Sami Pahlsson – A shutdown defender and a heart-and-soul guy, Pahlsson was one of four players who went on both the 2003 and 2007 runs (Andy McDonald, J.S. Giguere and Rob Niedermeyer were the others).

16. Chris Kunitz – Quiet excellence personified, Kunitz won a Cup with the Ducks, two more in Pittsburgh and an Olympic gold medal with Canada.

The esteemed Bryan Hayward selects the top 15:

15. Ryan Kesler – Highly competitive, his abrasiveness stood out for a center as talented as him. Incredible faceoff man and penalty killer, he was the perfect second-line center behind captain Ryan Getzlaf.

14. Adam Oates – One of the greatest passers ever to play in the NHL. He was a very cerebral center who saw the game on a higher level.

13. Ruslan Salei – Steady and reliable. Underappreciated nationally, he had a surprisingly good shot.  Very adept at moving people from in front of the net.

12. Sergei Fedorov – Star power. An incredible skater who not only made things happen offensively but played the 200-foot game as well as anyone.

11. Andy McDonald – The underrated center had blazing speed and hands to match. Concussions prevented him from becoming a household name.

10. Steve Rucchin – Unicorn. An undrafted Canadian college player who became the perfect complement for Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne.

9. Guy Hebert – The original Mighty Duck taken in the expansion draft, he kept his team in a lot of games when they were badly outplayed.

8. Cam Fowler – The longest-serving Duck and a beautiful skater who can break the puck out under pressure almost single-handedly.

7. Chris Pronger – Big and nasty, he’d do whatever it took to win. He kept teammates accountable, intimidated opponents and ran the power play.

6. Jean-Sébastian Giguère – A workhorse goaltender who elevated his game in the playoffs. He won one Cup (2007) and almost single-handedly stole another (2003, when he was the playoff MVP in a losing effort). Mentally as tough as they come.



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