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    Stars vs. Ducks Thursday NHL odds, props: Anaheim rookie No. 2 overall pick Leo Carlsson set for debut, +500 to score goal

    The Ducks will debut their prized rookie Thursday night vs. Dallas.
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    The biggest loser of the 2022-23 NHL season by far was the Ducks. Like a few other teams, they tanked in an effort to finish with the league's worst record and the best shot to win the draft lottery and select generational prospect Connor Bedard at No. 1. Anaheim did finish with the worst record but slipped to No. 2 in the lottery and lost out on Bedard to Chicago. The Ducks in a minor surprise took Swedish center Leo Carlsson, and he's expected to make his regular-season debut tonight against visiting Dallas. Carlsson is +500 at FanDuel to find the net, but his team is a sizable underdog. 

    The Ducks lost their season opener 4-1 at defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas last Saturday, but then upset visiting Carolina 6-3 on Sunday playing without Carlsson, who was dealing with a lower-body injury sustained during practice on Oct. 6. The 18-year old center practiced this week on the top line with Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry. (Carlsson did play some in the preseason.)

    "From what I've seen, and if he manages it the proper way, if he continues to grow from where he is now, he's going to be a heck of a player," Ducks first-year coach Greg Cronin said.

    Most scouts ranked University of Michigan forward Adam Fantilli as the No. 2 prospect in this class behind Bedard, but Anaheim obviously saw it differently. Bedard, Fantilli (chosen No. 3 by Columbus) and Buffalo's Zach Benson (No. 13 overall pick) are the only rookies from the Class of 2023 to have debuted so far.  

    "We really loved his hockey IQ, loved his creativity. Obviously he's got really good size," Ducks GM Pat Verbeek said after drafting the of the 18-year-old Carlsson, who is listed at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds. "Seeing him play center at the world championships, playing on the No. 1 line for his country and seeing him play a 200-foot game, I think that was a big thing for us, not only having potential to dominate in the offensive zone but also be able to dominate in the defensive zone."

    The Los Angeles Times said this of the Carlsson pick: "The choice made sense for the Ducks, who have a stockpile of young talent and can allow Carlsson to remain with his Swedish team Orebro next season to continue his development."

    Clearly Carlsson, who had 10 goals and 15 assists last season in 44 regular-season games for that Orebro club, must have shown enough for that not to happen. 

    At 18 years and 297 days old, he will become third-youngest Duck and the second-youngest forward in team history to make his debut. Only Oleg Tverdovsky (also a former No. 2 overall pick) and Mason McTavish (No. 3 overall pick in 2021 draft) were younger when they debuted.

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