San Diego Gulls head coach Kevin Dineen compared Trevor Zegras’ game to Anaheim Ducks’ legend Paul Kariya.
Trevor Zegras has been in the San Diego Gulls’ training camp for just a couple of days, but head coach Kevin Dineen is already comparing him to an Anaheim Ducks legend. Zegras, of course, was named MVP of the World Juniors Championships, helping Team USA secure their first Gold Medal since 2017.
“I had the opportunity to play with Paul [Kariya] when he was still at the University of Maine, and he came over,” said Dineen. “I was playing in the World Championship, and he was a young guy. There are similarities there – patience with the puck, just the skillset when he has the puck. There is a really high comfort level. He’s been the talk of hockey since the World Juniors, and we’re very fortunate to have him in the organization.”
— Fox Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) January 14, 2021
Kariya was the fourth overall pick in the 1993 NHL Draft — five picks ahead of where Zegras was taken in 2019. Similar to Zegras, Kariya helped Team Canada win the Gold Medal at the 1993 World Juniors, scoring two goals and eight points in seven games. Zegras, of course, went off, scoring seven goals with 11 assists in his second stint in WJC play.
Last year, Zegras tallied nine assists but failed to light the lamp.
Kariya broke into the NHL during the 1994-1995 season, scoring 18 goals and 39 points in 47 games, finishing third in Calder Trophy voting. He went onto have a Hall-of-Fame career, leading the league with ten game-winning goals in the 96-97 season and a handful of All-Star selections.
Zegras will begin the year with the Gulls. If he continues where he left off at the World Juniors, general manager Bob Murray may be forced to start the clock on his entry-level contract earlier than expected, especially if the Ducks are in the hunt for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West Division.