Welcome to the 2019 Top Shelf Prospects series. As we go through the Summer of 2019 LWOH will be featuring a team-by-team look at the top prospects in the NHL. We will be following the order of the first round of the NHL draft (as if there were no traded draft picks) and you can find all the articles here. Since we had an extensive NHL Draft preview, we will not be reviewing the players who were drafted in the 2019 draft, as there have been no games since then, and our reports on them will not have changed. Today we look at the Anaheim Ducks Prospects.
What we will be doing is linking you to those articles, as well as taking a look at prospects that were acquired before this year’s draft; their progress, and their chances of making the 2019-20 roster of the NHL team in question. We will also bring you one sleeper pick – a player who was either drafted in the 4th-round or later, or was an undrafted free agent signing who we pick as our dark horse to make the NHL. For those wondering, the cut-off for what is or isn’t a prospect is typically about 50 NHL games played (including playoff games) or is 25 years old. These are not hard or fast rules though, and we may make some exceptions depending on the circumstances.
Anaheim Ducks Prospects
Early in the 2018-19 season, the Ducks looked like they would challenge in the Pacific Division. However, the analytics suggested that a strong record was a bit of a mirage. Goaltender John Gibson was playing out of his mind, while the Ducks were getting outshot on a near-nightly basis. Injuries and a regression to the mean would hit. The Ducks would go on a seven-game losing streak (part of a stretch where they won just two of 21 games) and head coach Randy Carlyle would be fired. It didn’t really change their fortunes though, as Anaheim missed the playoffs.
The off-season saw Dallas Eakins named the team’s new head coach. It also brought news of a long-term injury to centre Ryan Kesler. He could miss the entire 2019-20 season. Long-time fan favourite Corey Perry was bought out. The Ducks brought in Michael Del Zotto, Andreas Martinsen, and Nicolas Deslauriers. Overall it is an underwhelming off-season and suggests that the Anaheim Ducks prospects must now take a step forward and fill important roles on the team.
2019 NHL Draft Picks (Grade A-): Trevor Zegras, Brayden Tracey, Jackson LaCombe, Henry Thrun, Trevor Janicke, William Francis, Mathew Hill
Graduations: Jacob Larsson, Marcus Pettersson (traded), Daniel Sprong, Kiefer Sherwood, Jaycob Megna (age), Kalle Kossila (age)
Top Prospect: Trevor Zegras
The Ducks drafted Zegras with the 9th overall pick in this year’s NHL draft. Prior to the draft, we did an in-depth scouting report on Zegras. As no games have been played since that report; we will not repeat it. You can check out the report here.
#2 Prospect: Sam Steel
Centre — shoots Left
Born February 3rd, 1998 — Sherwood Park, Alberta
Height 6’0″ — Weight 185 lbs [183 cm / 84 kg]
Drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the 1st round, #30 overall, at the 2016 NHL Draft
Steel was excellent in his first professional season. He scored 20 goals and 41 points in 53 games for the San Diego Gulls in the AHL. He also added six goals and 13 points in 16 AHL playoff games. Steel also got his first taste of NHL action. In 22 games with the Ducks he put up six goals and 11 points.
Steel is an outstanding skater with strong speed and great acceleration. He is smooth on his skates and also shows outstanding edgework and agility. Once he gets a step on a defender, he is gone. Steel takes advantage of this on the rush where he can take defenders wide and cut to the front of the net. He can also make a quick cut and take the inside route to get there. Steel has a powerful stride, with good balance and the ability to fight through checks. It could even improve with a little more leg strength as he matures.
Steel has outstanding stickhandling ability and very soft hands. He combines this with the skating to weave through traffic and create plays off the rush. Steel also has a good wrist shot and a quick release, allowing him to use defenders as a screen and fire it on the net if they back off too much. Add in excellent vision and passing skills and Steel excels as a playmaker. In fact, his playmaking ability is probably the biggest strength of his game. Steel has outstanding hockey IQ and thinks the game a step ahead of others. He seems to always make the smart play with the puck on his stick.
Steel is also a very hard worker, who constantly keeps his feet moving and is involved in every aspect of the play. He is strong on the forecheck and uses his good puck protection skills to make plays down low on the cycle game. He has a bit of peskiness to go along with that high-end skill and always seems to be in the middle of the after the whistle scrums.
Steel has shown the willingness to compete on the backcheck. He is also good in the face-off circle and works hard to apply back pressure to support his defence when defending against the rush. Steel is willing to work to contain opponents down low but sometimes struggles with bigger forwards. He could stand to add some upper body strength to be better in containment against a strong cycle game.
With Kesler’s injury issues, there is an open spot that Steel should be able to take. Given his impressive start in the NHL last season, it is his spot to lose. He will still need to play well in training camp and pre-season though as there is competition for spots. Even if sent down, expect Steel to be called up quickly if there are any injuries. In any event, Steel is close to making an impact at the NHL level.
#3 Prospect: Troy Terry
Right Wing — shoots Right
Born September 10th, 1997 — Denver, Colorado
Height 6’1″ — Weight 175 lbs [185 cm / 79 kg]
Drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the 5th round, #148 overall at the 2015 NHL Draft
Terry split his first pro season between Anaheim and San Diego. He was excellent in the AHL with 16 goals and 25 assists for 41 points in 41 games. He also played 32 games in the NHL, showing flashes of his offensive potential with four goals and 13 points.
Terry is a very good skater. He has good top-end speed and reaches that with excellent acceleration. Terry is dangerous on the rush as he can take a defender wide and cut to the front of the net. He also makes quick cuts and is elusive with good edgework and agility. Terry can get past defenders both with and without the puck. Terry has a low centre of gravity and good balance. This helps him to battle in the corners and in front of the net. He could be even better with increased core strength. This would also help Terry to fight through hooks, holds, and other attempts to slow him down.
Terry is an excellent stick-handler. He protects the puck well on the rush, and in the cycle game. He can beat defenders one-on-one and has the quick hands to finish in close to the net. Terry has poise and can slow the play down in the offensive zone. Using his quick hands he can extend the play on the cycle game. When a teammate gets open, he can fire a tape-to-tape pass through a tight area to set up a scoring chance.
Terry can also score goals with a good wrist shot as well as a quick release from further out. He is a smart player who finds the holes in the defence and gets open without the puck. His good one-timer is able to take advantage of this. He is not afraid to stand in front of the net, despite his smaller size. Terry is also willing to battle for loose pucks in the corners but could stand to get stronger in order to win more of those battles.
Terry also shows a good defensive game. He has been used on the penalty kill and played important minutes against top lines for Denver. He cuts down passing lanes well, with good positioning, anticipation and a quick stick. Terry is also good in the face-off circle. He needs to add more muscle to his frame, as he can be pushed around by bigger forwards when supporting the defence down low.
Terry is likely a winger at the NHL level. He has proven to be a dominant player in the AHL and now must translate that into a top-six role at the NHL level. The Ducks need to increase their overall team speed and Terry can be part of that solution. With the changes going on in Anaheim and the focus on youth, he should be given every opportunity to make the team out of training camp.
#4 Prospect: Isac Lundestrom
Centre/Left Wing — shoots Left
Born November 6th, 1999 — Gallivare, Sweden
Height 6’0″ — Weight 185 [183 cm / 84 kg]
Drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the 1st Round, 23rd Overall, at the 2018 NHL Draft
The Ducks first-round pick in 2018, Lundestrom bounced around a lot last season. He played in 15 games with the Ducks picking up two assists. He also played in 12 regular-season games and seven playoff games with San Diego, putting up one goal and nine points combined. Lundestrom also appeared in 17 games for Lulea in the SHL with two goals and nine points. His playoff performance was even better with two goals and eight points in 10 games. Internationally, Lundestrom had four points in five games at the World Juniors, though Sweden suffered a disappointing quarter-final loss.
Isac Lundestrom is a strong skater, with decent speed and acceleration. While he’s not an absolute speedster, he is well above average. Lundestrom has a long and powerful stride. He can fight through checks and get to the front of the net, or keep the play going in the cycle. His balance is very good, and he is tough to knock off the puck at the junior level. He will need to be stronger to continue to play this way in the NHL. Lundestrom has good agility and edgework. He is a challenge to defend when he is on the rush and can weave in and out of traffic with and without the puck.
Lundestrom has high-end hockey IQ and always seems to make the right play. While he is not outstanding in any one area, his skills are good in almost all areas. Lundestrom has good vision and passing skills. He also has the soft hands, and the agility to beat defenders in one-on-one situations, as well as to make a quick move to open up a passing or shooting lane. Lundestrom is also willing to play a gritty game, battling hard on the forecheck, forcing turnovers and creating scoring chances.
Lundestrom can also play the role of finisher. He has an accurate wrist shot with a quick release. His snapshot is also powerful, and also has a good release. Lundestrom is a pass-first player though. He could stand to use his shot more often, in order to keep defenders guessing. Lundestrom is willing to take the puck to the net and creates scoring chances in tight.
Lundestrom is a strong player in all three zones. He also battles hard on the backcheck. He supports the defence down low and uses his body to control his man down low. Lundestrom could stand to get stronger, but this should come with time. His smarts and positioning are strong. He uses his strong hockey IQ to anticipate plays and create turnovers. Lundestrom cuts down passing lanes with an active stick. Once a turnover is created, Lundestrom is able to quickly transition to offence. Lundestrom has also been used to kill penalties at the junior level, but obviously has not seen this responsibility in the pro game yet.
Lundestrom will battle with Terry and Steel for open spots in the Ducks lineup but is likely to spend the majority of his season in the AHL. He didn’t quite seem strong enough to play his game at the NHL level last season and even struggled at times with the size and strength of opponents in the AHL. However, this is a common problem for teenage prospects and he should be able to add muscle to his frame. Expect him to make a more serious challenge for a full-time NHL spot in the Ducks 2020 training camp.
#5 Prospect: Maxime Comtois
Left Wing — shoots Left
Born January 8th, 1999 — Longueuil, Quebec
Height 6’2″ — Weight 207 lbs [188 cm / 94 kg]
Drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2nd round, #50 overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft
Comtois also bounced around last season. He had a strong start with Anaheim, putting up two goals and seven points in 10 games. After an injury, he spent some time rehabbing with San Diego, where he scored a goal in four games. He would then join Drummondville in the QMJHL, dominating in the league with 31 goals and 48 points in 25 games. In 16 playoff games, he had 11 goals and 15 points. After Drummondville was eliminated, he returned to San Diego, putting up nine points in 12 playoff games. Along the way, Comtois also played for Team Canada at the World Juniors, scoring five goals and an assist in five games.
Comtois is a good but not great, skater. He could stand to improve his first-step quickness, but once he gets going he moves well enough. He has good top-end speed and has the ability to change gears and accelerate quickly. Comtois also has the power in his stride to fight through checks and get to the front of the net. His edgework and agility are decent.
Comtois is a goal scorer. He has an excellent array of shots, with good power and accuracy on his wrist shot, snap shot and slap shot. A sniper, Comtois has a very quick release that can handcuff opposing goaltenders. While he has the shot needed to score from the slot and face-off circles, he also has the soft hands to beat a goalie in close to the net. Comtois can score goals with deflections, rebounds, and by quickly burying a pass in tight. He even has a powerful backhand. He can also drive the net off the rush, or when working in the offensive zone.
Comtois also has decent vision and passing skills. He can extend plays by using his stick handling as well as his body to protect the puck and control the play on the boards. Once teammates get open he can make a pass through tight openings. Comtois has good size and is not afraid to work along the boards or in front of the net. He pressures defenders well on the forecheck, creating turnovers. Comtois could stand to add some muscle to his frame to help him in board battles and establishing his position in front of the net going forward.
Comtois has been given big responsibilities in junior, including killing penalties. He has good positioning and the work ethic in his own end of the ice. He is more than willing to support the defence with strong back pressure, as well as working against the cycle game. Comtois battles with opposing forwards in front of his net and in the corners.
Comtois will also battle for a spot in training camp. His impressive work in the NHL last season certainly works to his advantage. However, sometimes a power forward can take a little longer to be ready for a full season at the NHL level. Expect to see him bounce between the AHL and NHL depending on the Ducks needs. He should be a full-timer by 2020.
#6 Prospect: Josh Mahura
Defence — shoots Left
Born May 5th, 1998 — St. Albert, Alberta
Height 6’0″ — Weight 192 lbs [183 cm / 87 kg]
Drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the 3rd round, #85 overall, at the 2016 NHL Draft
Mahura also bounced around during his first professional season. In 17 games with the Ducks, he put up a goal and five points. At the AHL level, he played in 40 games putting up one goal and 18 assists. Unfortunately, he was held scoreless in nine playoff games.
Mahura is a good skater, who uses this ability to play a strong defensive game. He is highly mobile and tough to beat one-on-one. Mahura has good speed and acceleration in both directions. He also has very good pivots and edge work. Mahura has good balance, he is strong on the puck and in battles along the boards.
Mahura put up strong offensive numbers in junior. In making the transition to the faster-paced pro game, he took a bit of a step back, focusing on his defensive game. However, that offensive game can come around as he gets more comfortable and confident. In junior, he harnessed his agility to walk the line and open up passing and shooting lanes. Coupled with good stick-handling and poise with the puck, it helped Mahura to become a threat on the power play. Mahura’s shot is very hard and accurate. He gets it on the net, giving his teammates time to pounce on rebounds and get deflections. He is also a good passer, with the vision to find the open man and set up goal-scoring opportunities.
Mahura uses his skating to join the rush as a trailer, and even to carry the puck out of the zone and lead the rush. He sees the ice extremely well and can set up teammates in transition. He’s also able to use a powerful and accurate wrist shot. It also features a quick release.
Mahura maintains good gap control, not allowing attackers to get by him very often. He is not a huge hitter but is willing to be physical in the corners and in clearing the front of the net. Mahura uses his agility to stay in front of attackers and funnel them to the outside He understands positioning and shuts down passing and shooting lanes, making good use of an active stick. Mahura blocks shots and isn’t afraid to put his body on the line.
Mahura should head back to San Diego this season as he continues to develop his game and attempts to make it translate against bigger and stronger opponents. Mahura may need to continue to add strength to his frame and gain experience before he is ready for the big leagues on a full-time basis. Expect Mahura to be called up to the Ducks if they need help on defence this season.
#7 Prospect: Brayden Tracey
The Ducks drafted Tracey with the 29th overall pick in this year’s NHL draft. Prior to the draft, we did an in-depth scouting report on Tracey. As no games have been played since that report; we will not repeat it. You can check out the report here.
#8 Prospect: Lukas Dostal
Goalie — shoots Left — catches Left
Born June 22nd, 2000 — Brno, Czech Republic
Height 6’1″ — Weight 168 lbs [185 cm/72 kg]
Drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the 3rd round, #85 overall at the 2018 NHL Draft
In 24 games in the Czech 2nd Division, Dostal put up a 2.50 goals-against-average and .915 save percentage. He also played 10 games for Ilves in the Finnish SM Liiga, putting up a stellar 1.80 goals-against-average and .922 save percentage. Dostal added a 2.71 goals-against-average and .907 save percentage in seven playoff games. He also played for the Czech Republic at the World Juniors, putting up a 1.25 goals-against-average and .957 save percentage in four games. It was the best save percentage in the tournament and Dostal was named a top-three player on his team.
Skating and Talent Analysis
While Dostal is a little shorter than the prototypical goaltending prospect in the NHL, he makes up for it with his athleticism. Dostal’s legs are exceptionally quick and he takes away the bottom of the net in his butterfly. He gets into that butterfly quickly and also pops back up quickly. When shooters look high, his blocker and glove hand are lightning-quick. He takes away space. He is a good skater, with powerful legs. This allows him to get side-to-side quickly and take away the cross-crease pass. However, he also has a tendency to slide too far when tracking the puck, and this is something that he will need to work on.
He needs to work with a good goalie coach to refine his game. Dostal could use improvement in cutting down angles. Right now he makes up for this by making spectacular reflex saves, however as he faces better shooters, athleticism alone will not be enough. These are issues that can be fixed though. Dostal already has better rebound control than most 19-year-old goalies, though there is still room to be even better. When he does give up a rebound, his athleticism allows him to square back up to the shot quickly.
The fact that Dostal is succeeding in leagues facing men, at such a young age, is good evidence that he has the confidence to succeed. His mannerisms on the ice are another positive sign. He does not get down after giving up a goal, instead, he is getting prepared for the next faceoff and to make the next save. Dostal’s confidence permeates through the team and his defence looks to him for leadership.
Dostal will head back to Finland to play for Ilves again next season. Most young goaltenders are projects, and Dostal is no different. He could use 2-3 years before being NHL ready, whether he spends that time in Europe or in the AHL.
#9 Prospect: Max Jones
Left Wing — shoots Left
Born February 17th, 1998 — Orion, Michigan
Height 6’3″ — Weight 220 lbs [191 cm / 100 kg]
Drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the 1st round, #24 overall, at the 2016 NHL Draft
Jones split last season between Anaheim and San Diego. He scored two goals and five points in his first 30 NHL games. At the AHL level, Jones scored 14 goals and 29 points in 43 points. He also had four assists in eight playoff games.
Jones is a good skater for his size. He has a very good first step and a strong stride that gives him good speed and acceleration. His stride is long and powerful allowing him to fight through checks. Jones is willing to use that power to drive the puck to the front of the net, where he has the quick hands and instincts to finish the play. He has good lower-body strength, giving him excellent balance. Jones has decent agility and is able to maneuver through traffic both with and without the puck.
Max Jones can be a pure sniper. He has a very good shot but and is able to get it off quickly. A big winger who plays a power forward’s game, Jones gets in quickly and throws hits on the forecheck. He is more than willing to mix things up in battles for pucks in the corners and in front of the net. Jones protects the puck well, working the cycle game to create opportunities for linemates to get open in scoring areas. He uses his body well to shield the puck, and long reach to keep it away from opponents.
Jones can sometimes be too much of a shoot-first player though, getting tunnel vision and not being enough of a passer. He has a good motor and will continue his intense pursuit of the puck in all three zones, never taking a shift off. For some reason, these skills are not translating to the type of scoring that one would expect to see from a first-round pick. There are real questions about his hockey IQ, as he doesn’t always make the smartest decisions both with and without the puck.
Jones plays the game with a real edge, as seen by his history of OHL suspensions, and the high penalty minute totals he has accumulated over the last several years. He sometimes crosses the line looking for a big hit. He also is not afraid to drop the gloves in order to stand up for himself, or for a teammate. Jones is a decent defensive player, who brings his tenacious puck pursuit in all three zones. He has good positioning and instincts for the game, reading plays well and creating turnovers which he can transition into offence.
Jones will likely head back to San Diego for his second pro season. The Ducks hope that he can continue to take steps forward in his offensive game. Even if he doesn’t, the trend towards players like Tom Wilson and other wingers who show some talent along with toughness means that he can still grind out an NHL career.
#10 Prospect: Antoine Morand
Centre — shoots Left
Born February 18th, 1999 — Mercier, Quebec
Height 5’11” — Weight 185 lbs [180 cm / 84 kg]
Drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2nd round, #60 overall at the 2017 NHL Draft
Morand put up 22 goals and 70 points in 62 games for the Halifax Mooseheads. He added five goals and 15 points in 23 playoff games as the team lost in the QMJHL Championship but advanced to the Memorial Cup as hosts. Morand added three goals and an assist in four tournament games but the Mooseheads came up short in the final.
Morand is extremely elusive in the offensive zone. He has a great first step and excellent acceleration. His top-end speed allows Morand to pull away from a defender if he gets a step on them. He also has excellent agility, and the edgework necessary to make quick cuts on a dime. A strong lower body gives Morand good balance. He is stronger on the puck than one would expect when looking at his diminutive size. The low centre of gravity allows Morand to win battles along the boards.
Antoine Morand combines his skating ability with the soft hands to control the puck and make plays in tight spaces and at top speed. He is absolutely deadly in one-on-one situations. Morand is especially effective in close to the net. He can make a quick deke on a goaltender, fire the puck to the top of the net, or make a quick pass to a teammate. He has accurate wrist and snapshots, as well as a quick release. Morand scores most of his goals inside the hash-marks. He could add some muscle and a bit more power on his shot if he is to score from further out.
Morand is more of a playmaker than a goal scorer though. He has outstanding vision and the passing skill to put the puck through the tightest of openings. He also uses his skating and lateral agility to open up passing lanes and find a way to get the puck to his linemates. Morand also has excellent hockey IQ. He always seems to make the right play with the puck. While Morand might be small, but he is not afraid to get involved in battles for the puck in the corner, or to mix things up in front of the net. His effort level is high and his motor is non-stop. He is often found at the middle of post-whistle scrums.
Morand could use some work defensively. While he can use his leverage to overcome a lack of size when fighting for pucks along the boards, his size becomes a real detriment when playing against an opponent who already has the puck and is cycling. Morand can get overpowered and has trouble containing forwards down low. He also needs to get better positionally. He also needs to get better in the faceoff circle.
After playing in the last two Memorial Cups, Morand is ready to leave his junior career behind. He needs some AHL time and is likely to spend the season in San Diego.
Sleeper Prospect: Jack Kopacka
Left Wing — shoots Left
Born March 5th, 1998 — Metamora, Michigan
Height 6’3″ — Weight 203 lbs [191 cm / 92 kg]
Drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the 4th round, #93 overall, at the 2016 NHL Draft
To be clear Kopacka is not the Ducks #11 prospect, but is one to watch who qualifies under our sleeper criteria. A serious wrist injury suffered in October cost Kopacka a number of games during his first pro season. He eventually returned to the San Diego Gulls lineup and put up six goals and 14 points in 32 AHL games. He also added three points in six games in the playoffs.
Jack Kopacka is a very good skater. He has excellent speed and good acceleration. Kopacka can be dangerous off the rush and gets in quickly on the forecheck. He can beat a defender wide, accelerate and drive to the front of the net. He needs to learn to finish his checks and be more effective at forcing defencemen into turnovers. Kopacka also has good agility and edge work. Kopacka is able to maneuver through traffic, both with and without the puck. He could stand to add lower body and core strength. This would improve his balance as well as allow him to be stronger on the puck.
Kopacka is a very good stick handler. He is able to control the puck while moving at top speed. This makes him extremely dangerous off the rush. Kopacka’s ability to change gears makes him difficult to defend one-on-one. When defenders back off to defend against his skating, he can take advantage with a quick wrist shot. Kopacka’s wrister is hard and features a quick release. He could stand to improve on his passing skills. He is not very creative as a playmaker, looking for the simple play to a teammate. His vision and hockey sense has improved since his draft year, as he does a better job of anticipating where his teammates will be.
Kopacka is involved in battles along the boards and in front of the net. He’s added strength to improve in this area at the junior level. Kopacka can still add more strength to be effective against professional players going forward. Kopacka has good height though. His frame looks like it could stand to add some muscle and this would help him greatly at the next level.
Kopacka’s defensive game is well-developed for a player his age. He has very good positioning in his own end. Kopacka uses a long, active stick to cut down passing and shooting lanes. He is willing to be a shot-blocker and put his body on the line. When he does get the puck, Kopacka looks to transition quickly to offence. Similarly to his game at the offensive end, Kopacka’s lack of muscle will be a challenge when playing against professionals.
Kopacka will head back to San Diego. Even when he returned from his wrist injury, it was clear that he didn’t have the same strength and quick movements in his wrists that he had before the injury. This affected his offensive production. He is expected to recover and the Ducks hope he can produce more offensively. He also needs to continue to play his strong defence against bigger, stronger, and faster opponents. Kopacka is still a bit of a project, but he has some talent.
The Ducks are especially deep at forward. A quality prospect such as Benoit-Olivier Groulx finds himself just outside the Ducks top 10 but would be in that group for most other teams. The team also has Blake McLaughlin, Jack Badini, Nick Sorensen, and Jack Perbix as forwards worth following. Things are not quite as deep on defence, though the additions Brendan Guhle in a trade with the Sabres, and Henry Thrun and Jackson LaCombe in the 2019 Draft certainly help. They join longshot prospects Simon Benoit, Matthew Berkowitz and Drew Hunter in the system. In goal, the Ducks also have Olle Eriksson Ek, Angus Redmond and Roman Durny further down the depth chart.
Anaheim Ducks Prospects Main Photo:
ST. PAUL, MN – SEPTEMBER 19: Team Langenbrunner forward Trevor Zegras (11) skates with the puck during the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game between Team Leopold and Team Langenbrunner on September 19, 2018 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. Team Leopold defeated Team Langenbrunner 6-4. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)