Last week in the wake of the NHL lockout, the Ducks sent 16 players to the Admirals including such prospects as Emerson Etem, Kyle Palmieri, Devante Smith-Pelly, Peter Holland and Sam Vatanen.
All these players were slated to have a chance at making the Ducks NHL roster out of training camp, especially on the offensive side of the puck with several winger vacancies needing to be filled. We’ll get a chance to see these players suit up and play some hockey in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Holland, Etem and Palmieri will probably round out the top line with Holland at center. If you count Etem’s 107 points with the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers, those three players combined for 225 points last year. Add Smith-Pelly and Brandon McMillan to the mix and you have a substantial top-6 with a great deal of NHL experience.
McMillan and Smith-Pelly in particular have logged a solid number of games for Norfolk on the offensive side of the puck.
In net, 22 year old Frederik Anderson, who posted a stellar season last year with Frolunda in Sweden, will give last year’s starter Igor Bobkov some healthy competition. Anderson’s 1.67 GAA, 0.941 save percentage and 7 shutouts in 39 games is tough to beat. If he lives up to those numbers, he could see a lot of playing time.
With a new parent team, the Admirals roster is a world of difference from last year’s Calder Cup winning team. However with some solid offensive talent and goaltenders who live up to expectations, they should be able to make a lot of noise when the puck drops on October 12th.
At least in their case, there will be an actual puck dropping.