The Anaheim Ducks were given a nice, hefty haul when they sent forward Bobby Ryan to the Ottawa Senators in 2013.
Jakob Silfverberg has panned out into a promising young forward, contributing twelve goals and twenty-six helpers on the year and providing solid position in all situations. The first round pick sent their way also looks like it could have potential; Nick Ritchie, selected tenth overall at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft with Ottawa’s former pick, looks like he could be the next high-scoring power forward.
The third piece sent from Ottawa, though, hasn’t made his mark yet — but Stefan Noesen is set to debut with the Anaheim Ducks tonight, and he’s likely worth the wait.
Surgery on his knee shut the 22-year old Pano, Texas native down for all but six games in his first AHL season. Two contests into the 2013-2014 season, Noesen suffered both a torn ACL and torn MCL; once he recovered, he was given just four Calder Cup playoff games before having his achilles tendon lacerated the following October (nearly a year to the day after his knee went out). That knocked him out of action for another four months, as he recovered from another serious injury and then tried to get back into the swing of things.
Drafted in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Noesen was initially considered as much a desirable piece in the Bobby Ryan trade as Silfverberg. Once compared to Corey Perry, Noesen is both a big skater and a fast, pesky one — he’s a rare big-bodied instigator, who gets under his opponent’s skin as often as he finds the back of the net. Twenty-three contests with the Norfolk Admirals this season have seen the 6 foot 2 winger earn thirteen points and 23 PIM; if Noesen can explode onto the ice with Anaheim without any hesitation, they could have a long-forgotten asset to add to their already-impressive arsenal.
In the team’s official release announcing Noesen’s arrival on the Anaheim roster, he was placed on the wing of the fourth line with Chris Wagner and Emerson Etem; head coach Bruce Boudreau said he earned the call-up, and he won’t be suffering any press box time as a result. He and Etem together could be another giant, dominant pairing for a team that already boasts more size than nearly any other team; with Silfverberg’s six foot even frame looking small next to some of the other skaters Anaheim boasts, Noesen could fit right in. So long as he manages to put some speed in his game from the start, Noesen could finally become an NHL mainstay as early as next season.