Ducks Complete 2018 Draft With Six Selections In Rounds 2-7Jun 23, 2018
DALLAS – The Anaheim Ducks selected six additional players through Rounds 2-7 of the 2018 NHL Draft today at American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. In addition to last night’s first-round pick of center Isac Lundestrom (23rd overall), the club selected center Benoit-Olivier Groulx (second round, 54th overall), left wing Blake McLaughlin (third round, 79th overall), goaltender Lukas Dostal (third round, 85th overall), right wing Jackson Perbix (fourth round, 116th overall), goaltender Roman Durny (fifth round, 147th overall), and defenseman Hunter Drew (sixth round, 178th overall).
On Friday evening, the Ducks kicked off their 25th anniversary season as the NHL convened in Dallas on Friday evening for the first round of the NHL Entry Draft. Thirty-one players would be selected in the opening round, but Orange County and Southern California’s eyes were focused on the 23rd overall selection held by the Ducks.
It would be 140 minutes before Ducks Director of Professional/Amateur Scouting Martin Madden announced Swedish center Isac Lundestrom was their 23rd overall selection in this year’s draft. The The 6-0, 183-pound forward from Lulea of the Swedish Hockey League collected 6-9=15 points with a +7 rating and 14 PIM in 42 games last season, spending the entirety of the campaign with in the top Swedish league.
“I was really emotional when I heard my name,” Lundestrom said. “Huge honor to be a part of the Anaheim Ducks organization. A lot of good Swedish players there. I’ve also heard good things about Anaheim.”
At the international level, the Gallivare, Sweden native helped lead Sweden to a silver medal at the 2018 World Junior Championship. He collected two goals in seven games during the tournament. He also earned a silver medal at the 2016 Under-18 World Championship and a bronze medal at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
“He’s a real good, solid hockey player,” said Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. “He plays the right way, a solid two-way player. He had a great World Junior tournament and that’s saying something. Very bright. We are really happy with him.”
Lundestrom described himself as a 200-foot, two-way player fashioned as more of a playmaker than a scorer.
In what will be a unique transition from Sweden to Southern California, his native Gallivare is the northermost city’s about 60 miles from the Arctic Circle. With an average temperature of 41 degrees, Orange County’s climate is sure to be a welcome change for the 18-year old.
Rounds 2-7 of the 2018 NHL were held Saturday morning where the Ducks held six selections and took three forwards, one defenseman and two goaltenders.
With the 54th overall selection in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Ducks chose center Benoit-Olivier Groulx from the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
Groulx, 18 (2/6/00), ranked fifth on the Mooseheads in scoring with 55 points (28G/27A) in 68 games during the 2017-18 regular season. The Gatineau, Quebec native also added eight points (2G/6A) in nine QMJHL playoff contest.
“When I look at [Anaheim], they’re first at developing young guys,” said Groulx. “It’s going to be great for me to go to an organization that I know will develop me into an NHL player. I couldn’t be more excited.”
On the international stage, the 6-foot-1, 193-pound center earned a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial, earning three points (2g/1a) in five games, and was a member of Canada Red at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
“I was with my family in the stands, and they were all crying,” he said. “I contained myself, but I was pretty close. It was a lot of emotional. I’m proud to be drafted by Anaheim. It was one of my best teams. I’m really excited.”
Born in Rouen, France, Groulx may be a name hockey fans, and especially AHL fans know. His father, Benoit, is the head coach of the Syracuse Crunch, the primary affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Benoit also played 11 seasons professionally in France and Belgium but has been a head coach in the QMJHL or AHL since 2002.
The younger Groulx was selected first overall by Halifax in the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft and went on to record 31 points (17G/14A) in 62 games during his rookie campaign with the Mooseheads in 2016-17.
In his player profile on NHL.com, Groulx said he models his game and style of play after Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn. Sticking with the theme of strong two-way play Groulx delved into his game further.
“I’m a power forward with talent,” said Groulx. “I’m 6-1, 195, so I’m big. I like to play offensively, but I’m even better defensively. I think that’s going to be a huge part for me in the NHL.”
Groulx will potentially be a teammate of 2017 Anaheim second round selection Antoine Morand next season as the 60th overall pick last season was traded by the Acadie Bathurst Titan to Hamilton a few weeks ago following the Titan’s Memorial Cup Championship. In 2019, Hamilton will be hosting the Memorial Cup and looks to have a strong contingent of top draft picks from the last two years that include Morand, Filip Zadina (6th overall in 2018, Detroit), Jared McIsaac (36th overall in 2018, Detroit) following in the footsteps of 2017 first overall selection by New Jersey, Nico Hischier.
McLaughlin, 18 (2/14/00), owns 23-31=54 points with 70 PIM in 65 career United States Hockey League (USHL) games with the Chicago Steel. The 6-0, 157-pound winger ranked second among team leaders last season in scoring (23-29=52) and tied for third in goals and assists. McLaughlin, who added 3-4=7 in seven USHL Playoff games last season, is committed to the University of Minnesota in 2018-19.
Dostal, 18 (6/22/00), made his professional debut in the Czech Republic during the 2017-18 season, appearing in 20 games with Trebic. The 6-1, 166-pound goaltender posted a 10-10 record with two shutouts, a 2.43 goals-against average (GAA) and .921 save percentage (SV%). A native of Brno, Czech Republic, Dostal led Brno’s Under-20 team to a league championship last season, leading all playoff netminders with a 1.40 GAA and .959 SV% in seven games. Dostal has represented the Czech Republic in several international tournaments, including winning silver at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial.
Perbix, 17 (9/13/00), split the 2017-18 season with Elk River High School (Minnesota) and Green Bay (USHL), combining for 20-45=65 points with 37 PIM in 42 games. Perbix paced Elk River in scoring and assists, and ranked second in goals. The 6-1, 176-pound wing is committed to Notre Dame in the fall.
Durny, 20 (5/28/98), posted an 8-20-2 record with two shutouts, a 2.38 GAA and .920 SV% in 25 games with Des Moines (USHL). A native of Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia, Durny also played 23 games in his native country last season and represented his national team at the 2018 World Junior Championship, going 2-2-0 with a 2.75 GAA and .925 SV%.
Drew, 19 (10/21/98), has recorded 8-34=42 points with a +17 rating and 228 PIM in 106 career QMJHL games with Charlottetown. The 6-1, 187-pound defenseman led QMJHL last season in PIM (159), co-led Charlottetown in plus/minus (+12), and ranked second among team defensemen in points (8-31=39), goals and assists. Drew added 2-9=11 points in 18 QMJHL Playoff games last spring.