The Anaheim Ducks have had their fair share of bad luck in the NHL draft lottery, notably missing out on two generational talents within the last 20 years. In 2005, the Ducks finished second in the lottery for Sidney Crosby and now, history has repeated itself as they secured the second overall pick in the 2023 draft lottery, featuring Connor Bedard as the likely top choice.
Sidney Crosby, now one of the best players in NHL history, went on to be drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2005. Throughout his illustrious career, Crosby has amassed 1,502 points in 1,190 regular season games and 201 points in 180 playoff games, leading the Penguins to three Stanley Cup victories. The Ducks, on the other hand, drafted Bobby Ryan, who had a respectable career but paled in comparison to Crosby’s achievements.
Fast forward to the present, the Ducks find themselves in a similar situation, coming in second in the draft lottery featuring Connor Bedard, a player with Crosby-level potential. Bedard had a standout season with the Regina Pats, scoring 143 points in 57 games and adding another 20 points in 7 playoff games. Although the Ducks won’t be able to draft Bedard, they still have a strong option in Adam Fantilli, who displayed impressive skills at the University of Michigan as a freshman, registering 65 points in 36 games.
While the Ducks have missed out on two generational talents, they can still look forward to building a strong roster around promising prospects like Fantilli. Anaheim does have a lot of great young players they will be able to add Fantilli too, but you have to feel for the Ducks organization placing second twice in historic drafts.