The Anaheim Ducks Really Don't Have Anybody To Blame But Themselves For Trevor Zegras' Injury
Trevor Zegras left last night's preseason game against the Coyotes after getting crushed by Jan Jenik. There's a good chance you've never heard of Jan Jenik in your life before because I know I sure as shit haven't. He's played in a handful of games for the Coyotes over the past couple seasons, but has mostly been spending his time in the AHL with the Tucson Roadrunners. So here you have one of the most exciting and marketable players in the NHL getting taken out of the game for who knows how long by a guy who will most likely be taking busses to games this year.
Does it suck? Absolutely. You hate to see injuries happen in general, but especially when it's some guy who won't even make the team going after one of the biggest names in the game. But the bigger question here is how and why can a guy who nobody has ever heard of go out there and destroy the best player on the ice like that? How does Jan Jenik see Trevor Zegras come through the neutral zone and feel like he has the green light to end his night?
Pretty simple answer, actually.
The best two players on the Ducks roster are like a combined 250 lbs. Troy Terry is a little skill guy. Trevor Zegras is a little skill guy. They're great for video game highlights but the game is still the game. Little skill guys need big meathead men to give them a little extra protection out there. And the moment the Anaheim Ducks traded away Nicolas Deslauriers last season, all that protection went away with him. The result?
Well that lets guys like Jay Beagle beat the brakes off of Troy Terry last April without fear of Deslauriers caving his face in later in the game.
That let's guys like Jan Jenik blow up Trevor Zegras in the neutral zone and the biggest thing he has to worry about is having to answer the bell with Adam Henrique. If he had to constantly look over his shoulder the rest of the night for whenever a mutant like Nicolas Deslauriers was going to take his revenge? Well we'd have a different story on our hands here. Or even worse, when Deslauriers would take his revenge on someone who actually matters on the Arizona roster like Barrett Hayton. But nobody on the 'Yotes roster had to worry about that last night because the Anaheim Ducks thought that a 3rd round pick in the 2023 draft was more important than protecting their best players. Yikes.
Oh and the worst part of all? The Anaheim Ducks getting rid of Nicolas Deslauriers opened the door for the Philadelphia Flyers to give him a 4-year/$1.75M AAV contract. So no. I'll never forgive Pat Verbeek for that trade.