The Toronto Marlies recently announced they have signed forward Mike Duco to a Training Camp Tryout agreement. There did not at first glance appear to be all that much information on the player other than that he was part of a trade that saw Florida receive the rights to Russian Sergei Shirokov while sending Duco to Vancouver. Here is a little more about him and what he could potentially bring to the Marlies roster.
“He’s a gritty, hard-nosed, proven AHL scorer that has, as of yet, failed to break into the NHL, where he’d likely be a third or fourth line guy. Duco’s on the smallish side, but he’s no pushover. On top of his 20 goals and 11 assists with the Rochester Americans last season, the 5’10″, 190 lb. winger also racked up 126 PIM. And, in the NHL, he has half that (60) in only 12 games, for an average of 5 PIM a game. He’s a scrapper.” Pass It To Bulis
According to Hockey’s Future “Duco does not have the typical size of a power forward but plays an in-your-face, aggressive style of hockey. He always finishes his checks and willingly drops the gloves, but can still contributing on the score sheet and was a power play scorer in juniors and in minor league hockey.”
The 26 year old 5’10” 200lbs Toronto native has spent a couple cups of coffee in the NHL and appears to be quite effective at the AHL level while spending last year in Europe playing for Salzberg EC scoring 4 goals in 15 games with 6 points and 17 PIMS.
Looking at Duco’s statistics over the years belies an underlying fact that although he has been molded into a gritty hardnosed forward (much like Mike Brown) that can create space for teammates and drop the mitts if necessary, there is definite element of scoring skill that if perhaps given the right opportunity could have the potential to supersede the 20 goal plateau at the AHL level. The Marlies without a doubt have enough grit to go around but what they need is a touch of goal scoring and Duco if possibly nudged against dropping the gloves every single game and re-focusing his efforts on more offensively minded input might be a diamond in the rough sort of speaks.
He is however pretty good at doing things like this:
An interesting attendee at the Marlies camp and look forward to seeing what he may be able to contribute. As always food for thought.