3 Ducks With The Most To Prove In 2023-24

The Anaheim Ducks finished last in the league in 2022-23, but did get better this offseason. It likely won't bring them out of the bottom five in the NHL this season, but you never know. They have some talented young pieces, but in order for them to start to get better, there are a few players that need to show more and have something to prove.

John Gibson

John Gibson has had the prime of his career wasted away on the Ducks as they have been bad for four years now and his numbers have really shown it. He was excellent at the beginning of his career, and is still a good goalie. He has just had next to no help. There were a lot of rumors that he wanted out, but there have also been other reports that he might want to stay now that the pieces are coming together. Either way, he had the worst season statistically of his career and has to start bringing the numbers back up.

Radko Gudas

Radko Gudas has gone from a solid third pairing defenseman to someone who will likely have to slot into the top-four in Anaheim. He was given a big payday, but part of the reason why he was brought in was to protect the skilled young players. He has been a menacing presence in recent years, but in a somewhat sheltered role on the third pairing behind players like Aaron Ekblad, MacKenzie Weegar, and Brandon Montour. He will have to play a lot more and have a bigger role. He has to prove he's up to it as he's never logged more than 20 minutes ATOI in a season before.

Trevor Zegras

Trevor Zegras is one of the few remaining RFAs without a contract and hockey is starting soon. The Ducks have more than enough money, but Zegras also hasn't fully shown he deserves more than Troy Terry, who signed a long-term deal a month ago. It appears as though things are going to end in a bridge deal, but regardless of the money, Zegras will have a short time to prove that he deserves to be paid as much as he's likely asking for long-term.

Photo credit: © Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports