For kids of the ‘90s, the Ducks were the hockey team of record for many. I’m talking about the team from the Mighty Ducks film trilogy, of course. Watching the rise of these underdogs probably influenced a lot of kids to dream of playing hockey, or to even lack up some skates. We dreamed of being successful hockey players ourselves. Although, just how successful were the kids from The Mighty Ducks movies, really? What was their upside as hockey players? What did the future hold? It’s purely speculation, but here is what I think became of the kids who played for the Ducks.
First, we can write off anybody who didn’t play for Team USA in the Junior Goodwill Games. Say goodbye to Karp, Tommy and Tammy Duncan, Pete, and the rest. Only one player was on Team USA but didn’t play for Eden’s high school team, and that’s Jesse Hall. While the assumption is he moved away, I doubt he had much of a future as a hockey player beyond high school anyway.
Charlie Conway was likely done as a player after high school. I mean, he took a seat during the Junior Goodwill Games so that Russ Tyler could play. From a cast perspective, he’s the kid that gets the most attention, but he’s also one of the least-talented kids on the team from movie to movie. Speaking of Russ, I doubt he plays after high school either. He’s a gimmick, resorting to the Knucklepuck. In D2, they had to sneak him into net to let him unleash his trick shot. He’d be shut down at the college level, much less juniors.
I think Averman is done after high school. Guy Germaine I could have seen playing in college, but not for a particularly-good team. After college, he’d be done. Speaking of Guy, I see Connie Moreau playing in college for sure, but at the time there wasn’t really a pro league for women, so that would have likely been it. She wasn’t going to play for Team USA. She wasn’t that good. The same goes for Julie “The Cat” Gaffney. I bet she went and played four years at Maine, started a couple of years, and then hung up the skates, or played in rec leagues for fun.
Goldberg was moved from goalie to defense in Mighty Ducks 3, and I don’t see a future for him there. With a growth spurt, Ken could have played in college. Luis Mendoza and Fulton Reed both had elite skills, speed and a powerful slap shot respectively, but also had weaknesses. Mendoza had issues stopping, while Reed wasn’t a strong skater. Their elite skills could have gotten them into college, and maybe even into the minors. I could have seen Reed playing in the ECHL or heading over to Germany or Sweden to play for a few years. Dean Portman would have likely been a minor-league enforcer for five or six years.
There are two players I could see having real upside as players. One is Dwayne Robertson. He was an elite stickhandler, but he was a puck hog. However, that’s the case with a lot of talented kids. Robertson could have grown out of that. He could have probably gotten onto a juniors team, but I see him more going the college route. Dwayne would have likely been drafted in like the fourth round, played all four years in college, and then joined an NHL team. I see him mostly playing in the AHL, though. He’d get the occasional NHL call up, play on the fourth line, and maybe pick up like 20 points in his career.
Then, there’s Adam Banks. Banks was considered the best peewee player in the Minneapolis area since Gordon Bombay. Now, he was young, but most future NHL Players are dominant at the younger levels. He was likely the best kid his age in the state. Remember, Bombay was on an NHL trajectory before his injury. Banks was also the best player on Team USA as well. When he went to Eden, he was the one Duck who was selected for varsity. He’s always been a step ahead.
Banks likely would have gone the junior hockey route. Ultimately, he’s probably not a first-round pick. Banks would have been taken in the second round, and then played another year in juniors. Then, he would have headed to the AHL for a couple years. Around 22 or so he would have made it to the NHL. I don’t know if he ever makes it to being a top-six forward, more a third or fourth liner. His team counts on him for like 10-12 goals and 15-16 assists per season. Banks ends up playing for three or four teams in his career, and then retires around 35 or so, having just eked over netting 100 career goals. That’s better than what 99.99 percent of hockey players will ever do. And way better than that Pete kid.