Gulls A-Z Profile: Antoine Morand and Deven SideroffSep 4, 2019
Forwards Antoine Morand and Deven Sideroff were high draft picks by the Anaheim Ducks, but with different backgrounds from opposite sides of the Great White North. The two young prospects look to become staples of the organization and are still in the early stages of their career with plenty of time to develop.
Much like Sideroff’s professional start in 2017, Morand will look to enter the professional level after a productive fourth year in juniors where spent the season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). The 5-10, 185-pound center recorded 70 regular-season points (22-48=70) while serving as the club’s captain, in addition to 5-10=15 points over 23 games in the QMJHL playoffs. In the regular season, Morand ranked second on the Mooseheads in assists and power-play assists (20), but it was the postseason where he pushed his game to a higher level in helping Halifax to the Memorial Cup, an annual round-robin tournament with the three champions of the CHL's three member leagues in the OHL, WHL and QMJHL, in addition to a host team. Morand scored three goals and added an assist for four points in four Memorial Cup games, doing his part but the club eventually fell to the QMJHL champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the final.
The Mercier, Quebec native spent his previous three QMJHL seasons with Acadie-Bathurst where the forward was able to produce consistent numbers each season. A former Anaheim second-round selection (60th overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft, Morand averaged over a point-per-game in his QMJHL career, collecting 90-180=270 points and a +70 rating in 243 games.
He had quite a run in 2017-18 where his team not only claimed the QMJHL title, but also won the Memorial Cup. Morand was critical in the postseason as well where he earned 15-34=49 points in 59 QMJHL Playoff games and assisted on the game-winning goal in the 2018 Memorial Cup championship game with Acadie-Bathurst. With an excellent track record in juniors, Morand now has the opportunity to feature his talents at the professional level in anticipation to continue the same success after making his second straight trip to the Memorial Cup and gaining a plethora of postseason experience prior to turning pro this season.
“It's a big step. It’s the biggest step in hockey, to turn pro,” said Morand at this year’s Ducks Development Camp. “I’m going to make sure that I have a good summer of training. I’ve had two long seasons, so I’m really going to take the time to train a lot and improve on my weaknesses. I look at this as an opportunity to prove myself, get my foot in the door and make sure I stay there.”
In his rookie season, Sideroff made club history in his professional debut in the Gulls’ final regular season contest Apr. 16, 2016 vs. Ontario. At only 19 years and three days, he became the youngest player in franchise history to appear in a game. The former Ducks third-round selection (84th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft is eager to build from his rookie season where he tallied 4-4=8 points in 47 games with the Gulls. However, in what would have been his second professional season in 2018-19, the 22-year-old’s development was put on a brief hold after missing 42 games due to a shoulder injury sustained during a fight Dec. 22 at Ontario. Prior to the injury, Sideroff played in 20 games with San Diego, recording six assists.
A native of Kamloops, British Columbia, Sideroff came to the professional ranks from the Western Hockey League where he thrived in his final season with his hometown team, the Kamloops Blazers. In 2016-17, he amassed 36-42=78 points and a plus-26 rating in 67 games. Clearly, he was ready to make the jump and after settling into the pro ranks in 2017-18 and should be looking to get a full professional hockey season’s experience in 2019-20. Sideroff will join 14 other Gulls from last season in this weekend’s Rookie Faceoff in Irvine at Great Park Ice, marking the first time in more than eight months the right winger will have an opportunity to dress in a game.
SanDiegoGulls.com highlights each player from A-Z heading into the 2019-20 season, breaking down the roster and what's to come from each individual.