Welcome to Meet the Admirals, which is not Get to Know Your Admirals. Yesterday saw the official release of the first edition of the 2013-14 Norfolk Admirals roster. I’m not going to go over guys who were drafted into the Ducks organization or offseason moves already made. Let’s look at stuff that just transpired.
Last Year: 27 games with the ECHL Colorado Eagles (1+0=1, 112 PIM); 9 games with the St John’s Ice Caps (0 pts, 23 PIM)
Breakdown: With numbers like that, we are not expecting a goal-scoring phenom, here. Instead, congratulations to the newest face-puncher of the group! At 5’8″, he’s a little undersized for this hockey role. Ezekiel was on the Ads preseason roster, and had enough of a camp to make the team. I expect him to be up-and-down on the healthy scratch list.
Here’s where it gets fun! Most of the forwards are rookies or 2nd/3rd year players. Defense is a whole bag of vets, with one interesting surprise.
Last Year: 52 games with the Providence Bruins (2+7=9)
Breakdown: Garnet Exelby has one of the most interesting EliteProspects pages I’ve ever seen. Exelby was part of the 1999 draft, and was picked by the expansion Atlanta Thrashers. He eventually made the team, playing 5 seasons for the team (this would have been 6 if not for the 2005-05 lockout). Exelby has never been one to put eye-popping numbers. If you want to talk about leadership, he was an A for Providence and the Captain for Grand Rapids and Rockford. Hopefully, he’ll provide solid defense and chip in at times on offense.
Last Year: 56 games for Norfolk, (0+5=5)
Breakdown: I thought there were new players, you said to yourself. Well, there are…and the return of Ryan Parent. Once Kyle Cumiskey went back to MODO, an opening appeared. In returns the devil we know, in Ryan Parent. He was…unspectacular last year. While he might not have been that bad, he wasn’t that good, either. Also he had to change his number to 10.
Last Year: 28 games with the Allen Americans of the CHL ( 7+30=37); 33 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins (4+13=17)
Breakdown: In comes a veteran D with a little bit of scoring potential. One thing that may scare off fans: he’s traveled all over the globe since 2010. Skinner has played in the KHL, the DEL, the SHL, Liiga, CHL, and AHL. Last year found Skinner with solid footing in North America, and a nice run with the Griffins, who would go on to win the Calder Cup. Hopefully, he ends up contributing a bit on offense, perhaps on the power play.
Last Year: 64 games with the ECHL Stockton Thunder, (8+26=34)
Breakdown: Before his Admirals contract, Mike Little looked like an ECHL for life, given his stats. Little has never played an AHL game before, and will turn 26 in November. That’s pretty old for a rookie who’s never played in, say, Europe. Again, he’s got a bit of offensive punch, which hopefully translates to the AHL level. Norfolk’s solidly veteran on the blueline, which could be helpful. Season starts tomorrow (!) at Hartford.
No captain has been announced so far for the Admirals. According to Jim Hodges of the Virginian Pilot, Coach Trent Yawney plans to rotate As for a while. Eventually, a Captain should emerge.
Norfolk Admirals Number Changes 2012-13 to 2013-14
Ryan Parent 3 to 10
Charles Sarault 11 to 17
Chris Wagner 18 to 21
Steven Whitney 23 to 18
Devante Smith-Pelly 34 to 23
Kevin Gagne 36 to 5
John Gibson 40 to 36
News: Admirals assign D Teigan Zahn to ECHL Utah….