A member of last year’s Ads staff moves forward with the team to the ECHL.
According to the Virginian-Pilot’s Jim Hodges, Eric Veilleux will be named head coach of the Admirals for their return to the ECHL. Veilleux spent last year as an assistant under Jarrod Skalde in Norfolk’s last year in the AHL. Both Skalde and Veilleux were let go by the Ducks; defensive assistant and Admirals Hall of Fame member Marty Wilford will be joining Dallas Eakins in San Diego. Last year, the Bakersfield Condors were skippered by JF Houle, who will return in an assistant’s role in their AHL incarnation.
Skalde would have been an interesting choice, as he is a former ECHL Coach of the Year. Veilleux now steps into his first professional head coaching gig after stints with Shawinigan and Baie-Comeau in the QMJHL. Veilleux’s teams tended to make the playoffs, and Shawinigan won the Memorial Cup in 2012 as host. Such a track record led Veillieux to an AHL assistant’s job in Norfolk.
Veilleux was in charge of the power play in Norfolk, and it was pedestrian at best. A lot of this had to do with personnel last year as players were shuttled up and down, got injured, or were generally shooting under 7%. If the power play had a full year of Max Friberg and Stefan Noesen (and Shea Theodore), it might look a little better. Movement certainly happened, but results didn’t.
Norfolk enters the ECHL with a link to its very recent past in Veilleux. After many successes at the junior level, it’s time to see if he can translate that to professional success.
Another interesting note in Hodges’ report is that Bruce Boudreau’s son, Ben, will be an assistant. Ben was hired by Bakersfield last season.