Ducks Sign Former Top-5 Draft Pick

The Anaheim Ducks are taking a chance on former fifth overall pick from the 2016 draft Olli Juolevi. It is a two-way contract that will see him earn $750,000 at the NHL level and $175,000 in the minors. He will be a restricted free agent after the season.

He will join a younger group of Ducks' defensemen and look to make the team out of training camp. The team wasn't able to bring back Josh Manson because he re-signed in Colorado, so they had to settle for an unproven defenseman who hasn't been able to find his way in the NHL yet.

It will be Juolevi's fourth team he's played for since the 2020-21 season and he has accumulated two goals and three points in 41 games between the Canucks, Florida Panthers, and Detroit Red Wings. Things looked promising for the young defenseman in the 2019-20 season when he was in the AHL, as he scored two goals and 25 points in 45 games, getting the call up that season for the first time in his career.

For a player picked so high, he could still be a late bloomer. But the more time it takes, the confidence that he can turn out to be that player and the expectation has fallen significantly. We will see if he can crack the top seven in Anaheim and prove he's an NHL talent worth keeping around.

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