Anaheim Ducks Sign Massive Goaltending Prospect

The Anaheim Ducks have signed their second-round draft pick from 2023, 6-foot-6 goaltender Damian Clara. It's a three-year entry-level deal with a cap hit of $878,000. 

The 60th overall pick in last year's draft, Clara became the first-ever player from Italy drafted by an NHL team. He played for Bryna in Sweden's second division this past season, and was named the top junior player, the first non-Swedish player to earn the honors. 

The 19-year-old led Bryna to promotion back to the top league in Sweden, the SHL. They had been demoted last season for the first time in over 60 years. Clara stole the starting job at Brynas from NHL veteran Anders Lindbäck. The Ducks prospect went on to post a terrific 25-8-0 record with four shutouts, a 2.23 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage in 34 games.

In the playoffs, he was even more dominant, going 10-1, with a 1.68 GAA and a .931 SV%. 

He'll likely spend next season on loan to Färjestad in the SHL, where he'll have a chance to overtake another NHL veteran goalie in Maxime Lagace. Because he had already signed a deal with Färjestad, he must be offered there first, rather than being sent to the AHL after this coming fall's training camp. But an appearance in North America, either with the San Diego Gulls of the AHL or the Ducks proper, should follow in 2025-26. 

Photo: © David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports