Ducks sign 2019 first-round pick Trevor Zegras to a three-year entry-level contract

Helene Elliott
LA Times
Trevor Zegras wears his new Ducks jersey after the team selected him in the first round of the NHL draft on June 21, 2019, in Vancouver, British Columbia. <span class="copyright">(Jonathan Hayward / Canadian Press via Associated Press)</span>
Trevor Zegras wears his new Ducks jersey after the team selected him in the first round of the NHL draft on June 21, 2019, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Jonathan Hayward / Canadian Press via Associated Press)

The Ducks signed center Trevor Zegras — whom they drafted in the first round, ninth overall, in 2019 — to a three-year entry-level contract, the club announced Friday.

Zegras, 19, is a native of Bedford, N.Y. He had 11 goals and 36 points in 33 games this season with Boston University of the Hockey East conference and was named to the Hockey East all-rookie team. His Ducks contract has an annual salary cap hit of $925,000.

“We are happy to get this contract done and start Trevor’s professional career,” Ducks general manager Bob Murray said in a news release. “He’s got quite a bit of work ahead of him, but we know he’s got the talent and intelligence to be an impactful NHL player.”

Zegras, who is listed as 6 feet tall and 170 pounds, has represented the United States at several international tournaments, including the 2020 World Junior Championships. He excelled there, recording nine primary assists to tie for the fourth-most assists by a U.S. player in a world junior championship tournament. He played 116 career games for the USA Hockey National Training and Development Program’s under-17 and under-18 teams.

Speaking to reporters via a conference call, Zegras said he hopes his versatility of being able to play center or wing will be an asset in his NHL career. He inherited a love for the New York Rangers from his family, saying, “It was kind of pre-determined for me,” but his favorite player is prolific Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane. “He has inspired me in a lot of different ways,” Zegras said.

Zegras has tried to stay fit and active during the pause imposed on the sports world because of the COVID-19 pandemic. After the Ducks drafted him last June, they told him to work on becoming more explosive and powerful, and he plans to continue that as best as he can. Among his current activities are practicing his shooting in the family driveway and rollerblading. “It’s kind of a weird time,” he said. “Going to the rink, I definitely miss that.”

The NHL has advised players to self-isolate at home at least through next week, so Zegras — who attended the Ducks’ development camp last summer but didn’t get to visit Honda Center because it was closed for renovations — won’t meet his new teammates anytime soon. For now, signing his first NHL contract is keeping him happy. “This will keep me excited for quite some time,” he said.

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