By AJ Manderichio/SanDiegoGulls.com
Years before Glenn Gawdin thought about signing with the Anaheim Ducks organization, the incredibly popular Mighty Ducks movies made him a fan.
"I’m sure the movies back in the day had a lot of reasons for people being Ducks fans, including myself," he said in a recent phone interview. "I was big into the movies and had a bunch of Mighty Ducks clothes as a young kid. Maybe that was the reason."
Now, the Richmond, British Columbia native gets to wear the famous masked logo as one of the newest members of the organization. Gawdin joined the Ducks this summer on a two-year contract. The 6-1, 191-pound forward comes off a stellar 2021-22 season with the Stockton Heat, scoring 15-35=50 points, ranking tied for second in assists and third in points among team leaders. The assists and points marked career-highs for the former fourth-round selection of the St. Louis Blues. He also added 3-3=6 points in 10 Calder Cup Playoff contests.
He credits his career year with finding more consistency throughout the season.
"That’s something I’ve always felt was important," he said. "Definitely in the pro game; night in and night out coming to play. Offensively, I think I can chip in. If anything, it’s the consistency all over the ice – not just points and scoring goals but being good in your own end, winning faceoffs, winning battles. All the little things that mean so much in the pro game, things I take a lot of pride in in my game that help me be the player I am."
Entering free agency for the first time in his career, the 25-year-old felt Anaheim represented the perfect fit.
"It’s evident now it’s a younger team in Anaheim with the skill and talent they have now," Gawdin said. "They had a pretty good season last year and it showed what they’re capable of and the direction the organization is going. That’s something I obviously want to be a part of in any way I can, either helping the team win or be one of the young guys that helps them win. I knew stuff from playing against them, guys and systems, but from the outside in that would be the biggest thing – the opportunity that could be there."
On top of his stellar American Hockey League numbers, Gawdin also played in nine games with the Calgary Flames, earning his first career point and assist against Ottawa on May 9, 2021. He’s faced Anaheim once, at Honda Center on Oct. 18, 2021.
He specifically remembers Trevor Zegras almost putting the Flames on a highlight reel, saying he’s glad he’s on the side of the talented Gulls alum.
"You’d rather them be your teammate than play against them," he said. "I played against Anaheim last year with Calgary and Zegras tried the lacrosse move – The Michigan – from behind the net. If anything, it’s maybe not to be on the highlight reel if he’s doing that against you. You’d rather be on his team. You know that’s going to be all over television."
After Stockton's run to the AHL's Western Conference Finals, Gawdin is spending his shorter offseason back in his hometown, working with a trainer to prepare for the upcoming season before his first training camp with Anaheim. In between his training sessions, he hits the links, where he admits his 12-handicap could use some improvement.
In a few short weeks, Gawdin will get to live out his childhood fandom, putting on the Ducks logo for the first time.
"I’m really excited," he said. "Playing in San Diego, I know how great the fans are there. I’m sure they’re great in Anaheim, too. I’m from Vancouver and I have quite a few friends who are Ducks fans as well. This is an organization, overall, they’re very followed and there’s a lot to be excited for."