ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks have recalled top prospect Trevor Zegras from their AHL affiliate in San Diego, setting the stage for the 19-year-old forward’s much-anticipated NHL debut.
The Ducks made the move Sunday. They play at Arizona on Monday night, although Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins didn’t confirm Zegras will play immediately.
Zegras had four goals and five assists in eight games for San Diego, getting off to a blazing start with his first professional team. A few weeks before joining the Gulls, Zegras was named the MVP of the World Junior Championships, racking up seven goals and 11 assists while leading the U.S. team to the gold medal.
He played in Plymouth's USA Hockey National Team Development program for two seasons from 2017-2019.
Zegras was the ninth overall pick in the 2019 draft, and Ducks fans have clamored for the New York native’s debut since he signed a professional contract last year after playing for Boston University during the 2019-20 season.
No team in the league needs Zegras’ offensive gifts more than the last-place Ducks, who are last in the NHL with just 33 goals in 18 games (1.83 per game).
Anaheim (6-9-3) has scored only one goal in nine of its 18 games, and its power play is the NHL’s second-worst with a 7.5% success rate.
Zegras has played center extensively, but he skated on the left wing Sunday at practice in Anaheim alongside center Sam Steel and right wing Jakob Silfverberg. He also played left wing in San Diego.
While the Ducks appear to be heading nowhere this season as they attempt to avoid their third straight year out of the playoffs, their farm system remains promising. Mobile defenseman Jamie Drysdale, the sixth overall pick last year, has racked up three goals and five assists in his first eight games in San Diego.