Anaheim already boasts a nice collection of under-25 blueliners — Cam Fowler, Sami Vatanen, Hampus Lindholm Josh Manson and Shea Theodore, specifically — and will get a look at another tonight in Calgary.
Brandon Montour, the 55th overall pick in 2014, will make his NHL debut tonight on a pairing with Fowler, per the O.C. Register. The debut comes with Montour leading the AHL in shots on goal, co-leading San Diego in scoring (with 21 points in 27 games) and sitting sixth among all league d-men in points.
The 22-year-old has been a productive scorer since he turned pro. Last year, he was named to the AHL’s First All-Star Team after scoring 12 goals and 57 points in 68 games.
His first NHL game comes at the expense of Vatanen, who is sidelined with the flu.
Montour’s development will be worth monitoring. As mentioned above, the Ducks have a surplus good young d-men and there are more in the pipeline, like ’15 first-rounder Jacob Larsson (who made his NHL debut earlier this year) and Swedish blueliner Marcus Pettersson, who was taken 17 spots ahead of Montour in ’14.
If Montour steps in right away and proves he can play, it could re-ignite those Fowler trade rumors we heard throughout the summer.