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Ducks add depth Written by quackquack - March 22nd, 2010

Anaheim added 2 forwards for their late season push as well as signing 5 free agents who look to feature in Prague. We take a quick look at all the new faces added within the organization.

Although it took a good part of the year, Anaheim once again finds themselves on top of a very tough Pacific division as well as pacing the Western Conference. Not wanting to mess with the team's current chemistry Ducks GM made 2 minor deadline deals as well as 4 minor pro signings to help bolster the clubs depth.

With Mike Grier currently injured with a sprained right finger which looks to keep him out until the start of the playoffs, Anaheim struck a deal with the Islanders to bring in Jarrod Smithson. Moving minor leaguer Andreas Nodl as well as prospect about to turn pro Akim Alui, the Ducks were able to grab the versatile defensive forward as well as Minnesoata's 2nd round pick this year.

"Smithson is a guy we inquired about about earlier on in the season, we like that he hits and can play anywhere in our bottom 6. Giving up Alui was tough but with amount of forward prospects that will be assigned to Prague next year it was move that needed to be made, getting the high second seemed like a decent enough trade off."

On the eve of the CMHL trade deadline, Anaheim struck another deal which saw them land former Duck Radek Dvorak from Nashville for a 2012 3rd round pick and some cash. Although the team had planned to let rookie TJ Oshie play the rest of the year and get some experience in the playoffs that no longer seems to be the case with the return of the Czech winger. Dvorak played seasons 3 and 4 in Anaheim where he  posted his most productive CMHL season with an impressive 31 goals and 76 points. Look for him to start on the 3rd line and possibly get some time with former linemate Marian Hossa.

" We had no idea prior to the day of the deal that we would be bringing in another veteran but the moment Dvo become available we inquired. TJ has been great with us since his recall but being able to bring someone in thats familiar with the organization seemed like a smart move. TJ does still have somethings to work on and once again we feel that him getting first line minutes in Prague is better for his progress as a young player then getting 8-10 with us. We fully expect him to be with the big club next season."

With young players like Oshie, Kulemin, Stralman and Grossman all expected to make the jump next season to Anaheim, the Ducks attempted to fill out their roster for the future signing 2 forwards, 2 defensemen and a goalie to 3 year deals, we take a quick look at every player.

1. Joakim Eriksson-G

Adding another Swedish prospect goalie to a pool which also include Jacob Markstom and Robin Lehner, Eriksson is a butterfly goalie with good reflexes and a solid state of mind. Currently playing in Sweden, Eriksson has broken his teams shut out record and is only 2 away from the league record. Expect him to start for Prague as early as next season.

2. Jerome Samson-F

Never being drafted has not stopped this Quebec native from putting up points ,playing in the AHL since 19, Samson scored over 20 goals in his first 2 seasons and currently has 34 in 69 games prior to being signed by Anaheim. Not overly skilled in any aspect , Samson is a hardworker and a student of the game and still has a while to go before he sees anytime in California.

3.Brian Connelly-D

A bit undersized , Connelly's game resembles that of current Duck defender Brian Campell, with a great breakout pass, Connelly can also use his excellent skating to lead the rush. Also armed with a good shot and above average defensive awareness Connelly looks to be a key part of Sparta Praha's top 4 in the upcoming years.

4.Cam Macintyre-F

Coming from Princeton, Macintyre is a big winger with nice hands in tight. Although injured most of the year Anaheim feels that there is alot of potential in the 6'1 220 pound right winger. Will most likely start out on the lower lines with Sparta Praha until he regains his touch around the net.

5.Lee Baldwin-D

Another player signed out of college, Baldwin is also an offensive dman with a nice first pass and offensive instincts. The difference between him and Connelly though is his size, standing 6'3 and weighing in at over 210 pounds, the Victoria native could turn out to be quite the player down the road.  Also expect Baldwin to take a couple years before he makes a serious push for the big squad.

Not owning many picks in the upcoming 2 drafts, Anaheim has tried to steady thier future with these signings, only time will tell if the 8 million spent in signing bonuses will pay off for the club.

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