Ducks hope mixture of veterans and youngsters can end playoff drought

Jack Harris
Anaheim Ducks center Adam Henrique (14) celebrates his goal against the New York Islanders with teammates Devin Shore (29), Michael Del Zotto (44) and Korbinian Holzer (5) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, in Uniondale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jim McIsaac)
Ducks center Adam Henrique (14) celebrates his goal against the New York Islanders with teammates during the second period on Dec. 21, 2019, in Uniondale, N.Y. (Jim McIsaac / Associated Press)

The Ducks open their season Thursday night on the road against the Vegas Golden Knights. Here is a look at their season-opening roster:

Forwards: Nicolas Deslauriers, Ryan Getzlaf, Derek Grant, Danton Heinen, Adam Henrique, Isac Lundestrom, Sonny Milano, Rickard Rakell, Carter Rowney, Jakob Silfverberg, Sam Steel, Troy Terry.

Defensemen: Cam Fowler, Jani Hakanpaa, Jacob Larsson, Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, Kevin Shattenkirk.

Goalies: John Gibson, Ryan Miller.

Taxi squad: David Backes, Kodie Curran, Maxime Comtois, Vinni Lettieri, Andy Welinski, Anthony Stolarz.

Injured: Max Jones (lower body), Brendan Guhle (knee).

Overview: Like the Kings, the Ducks enter the season aiming to snap a two-year playoff drought. With the addition of Shattenkirk from Tampa Bay, where he won a Stanley Cup last season before signing a three-year deal with the Ducks this offseason, the Ducks could have one of the West Division's better blue lines.

Their forward group still trends young, with five of the 12 projected to be in the opening-night lineup 25 or younger. But they could be poised for growth, with such promising playmakers as Terry, 23, and Steel, 22, coming off their first extended NHL seasons.

Veterans Henrique, Rakell, Getzlaf and Silfverberg — the only four Ducks to eclipse the 30-point mark last season — are also back to try to bolster an attack that ranked 29th in the league in scoring in 2019-20 (2.56 goals per game).

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.