Dustin Penner was signed by the Anaheim Ducks as a free agent after Dave McNab, Anaheim's assistant general manager, saw Penner play in the NCAA championship game. He told Penner that he had a good chance to advance to the NHL. A month later, on May 12th, 2004, the Mighty Ducks signed him to a contract as a free agent.
Penner was assigned to play for the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, at the time the Anaheim Mighty Ducks' American Hockey League affiliate. He had a good year with Cincinnati, but when he was moved to play for the Portland Pirates, (the Ducks current AHL affiliate) he played much better, scoring 39 goals and 45 assists in 57 games, for a total of 84 points.
In the 2006-2007 season Penner had a breakout year, improving significantly. He remained on the roster of the Ducks for the entire season, scoring 29 goals, 16 assists, and 45 points. He scored the second most goals on the team, only trailing superstar Teemu Selanne.
Penner has great size but isn't the most physical player in the world, using his skill to set up open chances. He has a hell of a hard shot, too, and has a good touch around the net. Penner isn't fast, but with his size and hands he doesn't have to be.