When my parents gave me D2: The Mighty Ducks on VHS the day it came out, I didn’t leave our living room for an entire weekend. There I sat, watching it over and over and over, only taking breaks to go outside to strap on my blades and play some street puck. I was obsessed.
Anyone that says The Mighty Ducks franchise didn’t affect their life in some way, shape, or form is a flat-out liar. We all wanted to be the District 5 Ducks, Team USA, and The Eden Hall JV squad. When they got to run into Hans’ shop and pick out all their new gear, we were foaming at the mouth to do the same.
When it came down to it, we were all Ducks. We felt the ebbs and flows that the team went through. We knew who deserved to have the puck in the big situations. We hated any team dressed in black. But whether it was in Minneapolis, LA, or at Eden Hall Academy, the players all had their moments. Some were great, some took a backseat, and some just straight up sucked. Which is why it was completely necessary to set the record straight on which players were the better than the rest.
19. Connie Moreau
Known in some circles as “The Velvet Hammer,” Connie Moreau is hands down, unequivocally the worst of any of the Mighty Ducks team. Not only did she lead to a huge argument in the original film after stirring the pot when everyone was in detention for quacking at the principal, she’s also the Yoko Ono of the team for suggesting that her boyfriend (Guy Germaine) take the final penalty shot against the Hawks in place of Charlie.
In addition to several of her lowlights on the ice, she managed to get the puck stuck in the corner in D2 where Dwayne had to literally lasso someone away from the corner in an effort to help her. If you’re playing for Team USA, I have about two requirements from you: you’re American and you can fish a damn puck out of the corner when literally zero people are on you fighting for it. Just come on.
18. Peter Mark
There are locker room cancers and then there’s Peter Mark who exclusively played for the District 5 squad in the first film. This little leather-jacket wearing twerp walked around with an unjustifiably cocky attitude. Not only was he caught misinterpreting pretty much everything he heard from anyone he eavesdropped in front of, he was one of the biggest haters of Bombay who legit did nothing but win.
And completely from a hockey standpoint, he never had the size or athleticism to be on a first or second line. If he’s the other half of your defensive pairing, you’re absolutely huffing out there trying to pick up his slack. Hard pass.
17. Dave Karp
As comedic relief, Karp lacked the prowess and raw athleticism to make an impact on the Ducks, especially against a team of studs like the Hawks. Karp really only played one shift throughout the entire first film, and in that shift he got smoked in the head only to never return to the line-up in a visible or effective role. There’s only one Duck in this world who deserves to play after a few head injuries, and his name is Paul Kariya.
15. Tommy & 16. Tammy Duncan
I’m putting these two together because, frankly, they both sucked and neither of them deserve their own recognition.
Tommy (better known as one of the Petes from Pete & Pete) pretty much refused to leave his sister Tammy’s side throughout the original film. The last thing any certified contender needs is a duo of scrub players like the Duncans. If I wanted a bitch of a ginger brother playing by my side, I’d choose one of the Sedin brothers nine times out of ten. Tammy’s only redeeming quality was her agility as a skater, but that can only take her so far.
14. Terry Hall
What’s unfortunate about Terry Hall is that he was completely outshined by his stud brother, Jesse Hall. When you’re confronting those kind of confidence issues at such a young age, you’re really just set up for disaster as an adult. Not only that, but he didn’t get selected to be on Team USA in the Junior Goodwill Games, and that speaks volumes about what Bombay thought of him based on some of the dusters who were actually on the team.
Terry Hall: great kid, just put in a bad spot from the jump.
13. Les Averman
Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
It pains me to call Averman a scrub, but Averman was a fucking scrubbbb. His heart really was more into announcing games anyway, so it’s hard for me to even include him on this list considering he would have dominated in a booth role throughout the series. Between his lack of intensity on face-offs against larger opponents and his serious shortage of intensity, he simply wasn’t a guy you’d be willing to go to battle with.
He should have spent less time working as an usher at the movie theater and more time doing eagle pulls. Furthermore, his humor fell flatter than his ass does when he gets continually obliterated on the ice. Yeah, he was good for tossing out nicknames and analyzing the action, but nah.
12. Luis Mendoza
On the surface, Luis had it all: looks, build, speed. The kid was clocked at 1.9 seconds, blue line to blue line! But what he lacked was kind of important when it came to being a serviceable competitive hockey player — the dude didn’t know how to fucking stop. In addition to that, he also got somewhat pervy on the team cancer, Connie Moreau, who was already linked with Guy. Hans, one of the greatest hockey visionaries of our time, even tried to give him some one-on-one training on stopping in front of a gigantic pile of soda cans. And it went horribly. If even Hans (may he rest in peace) can’t help you, then I don’t know who can.
Did he slay chicks because he was the most dashing dude on the team? Of course, he did. I’d hit the bars with Luis Mendoza any night of the week. But I need my forwards to stop on a dime, and I don’t think that’s unreasonable.
11. Greg Goldberg
Ah, the most overrated player in the entire trilogy. His conditioning, simply put, was just abysmal. The only saving grace for Goldberg was that he was lovable, and he had a quicker stick (somehow) than Julie “The Cat” Gaffney.
When he wasn’t being afraid of losing his job to Julie, he was pulling off-the-ice antics like sneaking into bikini stores on Rodeo Drive to fake buy gifts for his mom. That kind of outside distraction may fly when you’re just playing in the lowly District 5, but as you climb the ranks, that shit won’t fly.
And don’t even get me started on how he scored the game-winning goal in D3. Everyone had way too much of an allegiance to this turd.
10. Charlie Conway
Heart? Yes. Leadership? Yes. Intangibles? Yes. And honestly, not having him higher on the list pains me too. He’ll read this and think he deserves to be higher, but he’s also overly-emotional and unstable when it comes to thinking with his head. I’m just going to come out and say it: the only reason Charlie was Bombay’s favorite was because Bombay was trying to fuck Charlie’s mom. Controversial statement? Sure, but we’re talking about a dude who was only in charge of this team because he got a DUI, so I wouldn’t put it past him.
Yes, Charlie was a stand-up guy. He refused to dive when instructed by Bombay, he was the leader of the pack as shown by the opening scene of D2 when he rounded everyone up, and he gave up his spot to Russ Tyler in the championship game against Iceland. While that’s a commendable move on all fronts, it just shows that even Charlie didn’t have the confidence needed in order to have a career in the game.
Widely considered to be a grinder and understated player, he did take his penalty against the Hawks with a mysterious pair of red mitts and no bucket. That, in itself, is awesome. But if you add his triple-deke into the mix? It was just an all-around silky situation.
We all love Charlie, but he just wasn’t the upper-echelon talent that everyone considered him to be.
9. Kenny Wu
San Francisco, California
“Wu, Wu, Wu, Kenny Wu!” It’s the first thing that pops into our heads when we hear his name, and that’s because that kid could make some spectacular plays if put in the right position.
Crafty, wily, nimble. I mean, just watch the way he tore up one of the most formidable defenses in Goodwill Games.
Kenny Wu, while tiny and easily shoved around, was an incredibly coachable player willing to take chances for the good of the team. I mean, some inner-city LA dude taught him how to scrap with his whole “Stick, Gloves, Shirt” schtick. Yeah, you could say I want a scrapper like that on my bench with me. Should he have employed those techniques when the varsity was stealing his lunch from him in D3? Yeah, but those Varsity players put out a super racist bro vibe and those are the kind of people you don’t fuck with. I mean, the Varsity wasn’t on scholarship like the Ducks. Those dudes were sent there by their rich-ass parents, so you know they’d be able to get out of any charges or allegations brought their way.
But at the end of the day, Kenny Wu was made into an honorary Bash Brother so he probably would’ve been just fine.
8. Russ Tyler
Los Angeles, California
Hey, every team needs a late season addition to act as their x-factor when they need ’em most. And somehow, the Ducks found their x-factor in the form of a Russ Tyler, an inner-city kid with a slapshot that scared everyone shitless — The Knuckle-Puck.
Acting as a replacement for Banks during his famous goal celebration wrist-injury, Russ had swagger. His knuckle-puck alone caused Charlie to give up his jersey upon Banks’ return to the team in the championship game, and that says something.
7. Dwayne Robertson
As an addition to Team USA in Mighty Ducks 2, Dwayne was the lovable cattle-roping bastard with an accent as thick as molasses. Dwayne’s hands were disgustingly good, to the point where the sound people producing the movie actually made bullet noises rain down as he showcased his handles.
But, much like Dean Portman (who we’ll get to in a minute), his head wasn’t totally in the game as evidenced by the time he got a “two minutes for roping” penalty trying to save the apple of his eye, Connie.
Bro, you look a little desperate.
6. Dean Portman
Size, energy, and a “I don’t give a fuck and I plan on obliterating anything and anyone in front of me” attitude. Just an absolute physical specimen who was the only guy that could (physically) compete with the brutes of Team Iceland.
Should he be higher? Sure, but he simply spent too much time in the penalty box and he skeptically showed up way too late in the JV/Varsity showdown in D3 (But, it was noted that Portman didn’t want to play at Eden Hall because Bombay wasn’t coaching, which shows his lack of dedication to the team). I’m still not sure how legal it was that he got to toss on a jersey and inject some much-needed energy into the JV Ducks after such a long absence, but fuck it, I’m not going to ask any questions considering they won.
While his decision-making was questionable at best, he deserves to be one of the first picks off the board based on talent and size alone.
5. Jesse Hall
As one of the strongest players in the locker room in the original, Jesse Hall had all the confidence in the world and a nasty shot to match it. Yeah, he was skeptical of Bombay at first, but who wasn’t? He was a washed-up hockey player with a drinking problem.
But the best part of Jesse Hall’s repertoire? His trash talk. Kid was just an absolute bad boy who loved to chirp.
When he became boys with Russ in D2, they gave you the feeling that they could be a gruesome twosome for years to come.
4. Guy Germaine
St. Paul, Minnesota
Guy wore number “00” and if that doesn’t speak volumes for the amount of moxie this kid had, then I’m not sure what will. Connie, who I’ve already thrashed enough, couldn’t get enough of what Guy was putting out there.
When debating who should take the final shot in D1, it was generally accepted that Guy would take it even though Charlie ended up getting the nod. A little fucked up? Yeah, but still, if you’ve got the confidence of the team behind you and a slammin’ chick on your arm, you’re doing alright in my book. Plus, he played on a line with the Hall brothers — in the controversially named “Oreo Line” — making for a deadly combination of speed and precision that yielded some high-flying action. Huge.
Side note: He also had some top-notch turf underneath that lid of his.
3. Fulton Reed
It was said that he had “1 in 5” accuracy with his slapshot before getting added to the District 5 Ducks. Now, I’m not statistician, but one out of every five for a fucking teenager? That’s a stat I’ll try to exploit as a coach. If the Ducks would’ve just kept feeding him and feeding him atop the point, he would’ve had just flat-out gawdy numbers.
Being shy (well, until he paired up with Portman), Fulton was the strong silent type who had everyone’s back and the size to intimidate anyone that came there way. Was he a mediocre skater, at best? Yeah, but he was a fucking Bash Brother who could put the biscuit in the basket. Game over, stop the fight, he’s a stud.
2. Julie “The Cat” Gaffney
Brought in as a back-up goalie to Goldberg, she soon showed that she had to be the top choice for goaltender when everything was on the line. Her pedigree?
She was put in as the starter against Iceland (again, the most skilled team in the tournament) only to get kicked out for going HAM on some dude made fun of her for being a girl. She made the game-winning save against Gunnar Stahl.
And finally, she was named the starter over Goldberg in D3 when the new coach took over. She ended up being LIGHTS OUT against the varsity team in the JV/Varsity showdown. When it’s all said and done, you can’t win championships without a goalie who can stand on his (or her, in this case) head. The Cat had it all.
1. Adam Banks
Just an absolute gamer. Adam Banks, the star of the Hawks, was far and away the best player to don a Ducks jersey. Reilly, the coach of the Hawks, did everything in his power to hold onto him but after the district lines were redrawn, but he soon became a star for Bombay’s side. He’d later go onto score against the Hawks in a nasty coast-to-coast fashion.
Furthermore, he was the only player at the Junior Goodwill Games who had scouts looking at him, and for good reason. Even though he injured his wrist after a nasty goal in the first game against Iceland, he later returned after proclaiming, “I woke up and the pain was gone.” But the most telling indicator of his true skill? He was the only Duck to be selected to be on the varsity team at Eden Hall.
Fragile player? Sure. But even the greats miss some games. When it came down to it, he scored stick-side against Iceland when it mattered most and will forever be regarded as the cream of the Ducks crop. .
Images via YouTube