West Coast's top draft talent Reuben Ginbey has been touted as a "long-term player" for the club, with teammate Liam Duggan expecting the teenager to have an immediate impact in Adam Simpson's plans for 2023.

Ginbey joined the Eagles as the ninth overall selection in last year's National Draft, remaining local after developing with Western Australian local club Dunsborough.

The East Perth product enjoyed a stellar draft campaign in 2022, rapidly emerging as WA's leading name among a healthy class of young talent.

Built at 191cm and 83kg, Ginbey already has the body to compete with senior talent at AFL level, a power that has him in line for a debut early into his rookie season in the blue and gold.

Duggan pronounced the defensive-minded midfielder has the body of a "modern-day midfielder" that could be a household name for the Eagles for the years to come.

"For the size of him, he's that modern-day midfielder that we all talk about now," Duggan told Zero Hanger. 

"He came into the club with that already - the size, the tank... it was already there early on.

"He's a really exciting prospect for us. I don't want to set him up too much, but he does look the goods.

"I think he'll be a long-term player for us."

Ginbey was one of two local prospects to land at the Eagles on the opening night of the draft, with Swan Districts' Elijah Hewett also remaining in WA after being selected with the 14th pick of the 2022 draft.

Embed from Getty Images

After years of often ignoring the young talent pool in favour of adding experienced talent, the Eagles' two new young stars are already catching the eyes of their teammates.

Compared to swift midfielder and two-time All-Australian Elliot Yeo, Hewett joins Ginbey in pressing his case for a debut early into this year.

"They're both impressive young men," Duggan said.

"Reuben has obviously been really versatile for us throughout the pre-season, so I'm sure we'll see him in the early rounds of the year.

"Elijah sort of has glimpses of 'Yeoy' at a young age. It's great to see him out there. He'll get some more run into his legs and I'm sure we'll see him early too.

"Being able to keep WA talent in WA is a real bonus for us."

Both Ginbey and Hewett will be right in the mix for Round 1 when the Eagles flock to Marvel Stadium to face North Melbourne.

'The Roos were the only side to sit lower on the ladder than West Coast in 2022, with the two sides separated by just 4.0% after recording two wins for the year each.

Duggan labelled the season opener as an enticing matchup, with the Eagles and Roos looking to bounce back from disappointing campaigns.

"It's a great challenge early on," he said.

"Both North and us had disappointing years by our standards, so it's a big game for us, like every week is.

"Round 1 is a nice one to get under your belt, so it'd be great to come over to (Melbourne) and get the win."

West Coast are likely to be buoyed by captain Luke Shuey's availability for the Round 1 encounter, with the Norm Smith Medal winner looking to overcome multiple soft tissue injuries that have plagued his pre-season.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 24: Luke Shuey of the Eagles looks on after being defeated during the round 19 AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the St Kilda Saints at Optus Stadium on July 24, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Duggan, who was in attendance at this week's AFL Captain's Day in place of Shuey, detailed his skipper had not flown to Melbourne midweek as he looks to get further match preparation in ahead of the season's start.

"He's wrapped up in cotton wool at the moment," Duggan said on Thursday.

"We've got a main training session tomorrow so rather than spend eight hours on the plane in the space of 24 hours we can give him a clean run at it.

"He should be cherry ripe (for Round 1). Part of the deal was minimising the risk heading into tomorrow's session, which I think he needs to get some more Ks into his legs.

"He's looking pretty well for Round 1 I think."

West Coast and North Melbourne will go head-to-head at Marvel Stadium on Saturday, March 18.