Gulls Grads: Trevor Zegras

Gulls Grads: Trevor Zegras

May 18, 2023

By AJ Manderichio/

Another year, another impressive display from San Diego Gulls grad – and Anaheim Ducks star – Trevor Zegras.

In his third season in a Ducks sweater, Zegras posted increased offensive numbers across the board, collecting a career-high 23-42=65 points while skating in a career-best 81 games. His assists marked a new single season best while his 23 goals tied for a career high. He led Anaheim in points, assists and power-play points while finishing tied for first in goals and game-winning tallies.

The offense came with it’s fair share of wow moments, a staple in the center’s young NHL career.

One of those jaw-dropping tallies occurred in a Mar. 7 matchup against the Seattle Kraken. Early in the second period, Zegras controlled the puck in his own end, sending the puck back to his defenseman before starting the breakout. He cut through center ice, splitting the Seattle defense before catching a fluttering Ryan Strome pass. He knocked it down to the ice as he flew full speed toward the net. Unable to get the shot off with his forehand, Zegras instead put the puck between his legs, flicking the puck quickly past the blocker of Philipp Grubauer.

The season also included an impressive two-goal performance against the Toronto Maple Leafs late in October. Zegras kicked off a third-period comeback, netting a backhanded breakaway tally with just under seven minutes left in the final frame to cut the deficit to one. After Anaheim battled back to tie the game, Zegras ended it in the extra session, taking a loose puck up the ice following a faceoff win. He used his body to shield the puck from his man, snapping a shot past Erik Kallgren to send the Honda Center fans home happy.

One of his more notable performances came against the Buffalo Sabres in late January. After giving up two goals in the first period, Zegras roared back for his team, scoring twice in the first 8:14 of the middle period to tie the game. The two-goal game, the sixth of his NHL career, were the second-most by a Ducks player before turning 22, behind Paul Kariya (13).

Despite the offensive success, Anaheim Ducks General Manager Pat Verbeek feels Zegras has more room to grow.

"He's obviously doing well offensively and he's made strides in his game defensively," he said in a post trade deadline event with fans. "For me, there's still has a lot to work on from a defensive standpoint. I would say he needs to get stronger as well. He's going to be facing the 6-foot-4, 6-foot-5 defensemen on a nightly basis. That's not an easy thing to do over an 82-game schedule. So being physically strong to be able to handle that on a nightly basis is tough. That's, to me, where Trevor needs to keep improving."

Off the ice, Trevor saw his star power continue to rise. He shared the cover of EA Sports NHL 23 with professional hockey and women’s national team member Sarah Nurse. Zegras became the first Anaheim Ducks player featured on the cover of the sport’s biggest video game. His infamous “alley-oop” pass – a viral play from the 2022 season where he flipped a puck up and over a Buffalo netminder to former Duck Sonny Milano, who batted the pass into the net with a swing of his stick – made its debut appearance in hockey’s biggest video game.

Zegras also joined teammates Troy Terry and Max Jones in "The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers" series, making his television debut for the former Disney+ streaming show. The plot closely followed the story of "The Mighty Ducks," with a team of underdogs joining together to find success in the face of long odds.

His rising portfolio didn’t just open opportunities in the media and television space.

Zegras continued to play a larger role in the organization’s community efforts. He spent considerable time with this year’s 21st Duck, Ethan Baroldi. The 21st Duck is an annual tradition where the Ducks create a spot on their Opening Night roster to honor a fan who embodies characteristics such as great perseverance, character, courage and inspiration or a fan who makes significant contributions to the Orange County community. Baroldi is a 10-year-old who fought through four heart surgeries and a stroke, overcoming those obstacles to eventually join the Jr. Ducks program and follow his passion for the sport.

In a video introducing him as the 21st Ducks, Baroli told an off-camera reporter that Zegras was his favorite Duck. Moments later, he looked over his shoulder to see his favorite player waiting to greet him. Baroli then spent time with Zegras and the Ducks on the ice before walking the team’s Orange Carpet with his idol at Anaheim’s Home Opener two nights later.

Later in the season, Zegras once again pitched in to make another dream come true. Anaheim partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to make 12-year-old Jackson Lewis-Rodriguez’s dreams come true. The teenager, who has a serious heart condition requiring a pacemaker, signed a one-day contract and joined the Ducks on Dec. 27, 2023. Following practice, he spent time with Zegras at Balboa Fun Zone, enjoying arcade games and carnival attractions.

The following night, Jackson led Anaheim onto the ice before their game against the Vegas Golden Knights, deked out in the team’s orange alternate uniform.

The former Gull, who once delighted Gulls fans with 10-11=27 points in 17 games during the 2020-21 American Hockey League season, continues to make his mark as a Gulls Grad.

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