Morning Forecheck: Young Guns Take Control In Anaheim, Robby Fabbri Registers Hat Trick

Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri/AP Photos

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The Future Shines In Ducks' Comeback Win

It's been a very trying season for the Anaheim Ducks this season. Unfortunately for the fan base, the main thing their team could be competing for is lottery position in hopes in getting the first overall pick.

So you probably wouldn't have been at fault if you turned the game off early last night, as the Arizona Coyotes scored on their first two shots on goal.

But for those who weathered the start of the game, you got a special view at what this team might be capable of in the coming years.

A pair of players expected to help lead the way for the future, Jamie Drysdale and Trevor Zegras, each registered their first NHL goals to eventually tie the game before Adam Henrique continued his hot streak with the game-winner in overtime.

With the Ontario Hockey League having a late start to the season, that allowed the Ducks to put Drysdale in the American Hockey League, and within reach of getting a midseason call up. 

Widely considered the best defenseman in the 2020 draft class, the Ducks made Drysdale the sixth overall pick last year after he registered 47 points (9 G, 38 A) in 49 games.

In 14 games with the San Diego Gulls, Drysdale has four goals and ten points overall.

It was a beautiful, and dominant debut for the young defender. The Ducks controlled 71.88% of the shot attempts while Drysdale was on the ice. They also outscored the Coyotes (2-0) and commanded the expected goal share (63.14%) and high-danger opportunities (60%).

Not a bad debut.

It hasn't been as smooth sailing for Zegras, the ninth overall pick for the Ducks in 2019. The super talented playmaking pivot has had to not only adjust to the NHL without a normal training camp, but also having to shift to the wing for the majority of his time with the Ducks so far.

The shift to a less pressure position is starting to pay off, though, as Zegras scored his first NHL goal in his 11th game. After being held without a point in his first four games, he now has four points in his last seven, including two straight now.

It will come, for both of them, when they are leading the way for the Ducks, hopefully competing for a playoff spot. In the mean time, during the season they are having now, it was nice to see what the future holds for Anaheim.

Robby Fabbri Nets Natural Hat Trick

You always figured it was only a matter of time before you truly saw just how bad Steve Yzerman robbed the St. Louis Blues when he acquired Robby Fabbri, a former first round pick.

As the young forward continued to work his way back from injury, it was becoming clear that the Blues may move on from Fabbri. He helped the team to their first ever Stanley Cup championship, but as the Blues tried to work around the salary cap, there were going to be casualties.

But the factor that the Red Wings got him in exchange for a player they claimed off of waivers the year prior (Jacob De La Rose) is a crime.

Fabbri scored 18 goals his rookie year, but thanks in part to injuries, has struggled to repeat that success. He came close last year, scoring 14 goals in 52 games with Detroit once getting traded.

Even in the condensed season, and especially after his natural hat trick helped the Red Wings hang on to defeat the Dallas Stars Thursday night, Fabbri is on pace to top his goal total from his rookie season.

The Red Wings, in the middle of rebuild, have been one of the most goal-starved teams in the league over the past two seasons. Getting the production they have from Fabbri has been huge, especially with Tyler Bertuzzi out, and Anthony Mantha struggling.

What To Watch: March 19

The last time the New York Rangers were on the ice, they scored seven goals in the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers - nine overall. They take on the hot Washington Capitals, who currently sit in a tie with the New York Islanders in the East - but also have two games in hand.

If you're on the West coast or don't mind staying up late, the Vegas Golden Knights take on the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings have been one of the biggest surprise this season, currently fighting for a playoff spot they weren't expected to be in position to take. 

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