Both franchise players are restricted free agents. LeBrun noted Zegras and the Ducks are willing to agree on a three-year deal, but there’s a sizeable gap when it comes to money.
Drysdale’s agent is reportedly in Anaheim trying to work out a deal, but nothing is imminent.
The Ducks have approximately $16.6 million in available cap space and no other players in need of contracts, according to Cap Friendly.
General manager Pat Verbeek said before the 2022-23 campaign that he wouldn’t negotiate extensions for either player during the season. Zegras went on to lead Anaheim in scoring with 65 points, while Drysdale was limited to only eight games due to a torn labrum sustained in October.
Both players were blue-chip prospects and project to be pillars of Anaheim’s current rebuild. Zegras was selected ninth overall in 2019, then Drysdale was drafted sixth overall in 2020.
Zegras has notched 139 points in 180 career games and was Calder Trophy runner-up in 2022. The 22-year-old is the Ducks’ top-line center and has established himself as one of the NHL’s most electrifying players with a long list of highlight-reel plays. Zegras said in August that he hopes to ink a new deal soon.
Drysdale hasn’t made a name for himself like Zegras yet but is quietly an integral piece of Anaheim’s blue line. He set career highs in games played (81), points (32), and average ice time (19:53) in 2022 as a 19-year-old.
Copyright © 2023 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.