Roster construction continues.
Norfolk continues its transition back into the ECHL and its roster construction with the addition of five new players as free agents. According to the team, these players are Phillipe Cadorette, Marcus Hinds, Christophe Lalonde, Jordan McNaughton, and Alexandre Ranger. Eric Veillieux coached in the QMJHL and it shows.
Phillipe Cadorette, G, .901 in 63 games for Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)
Give Cadorette this: he’s extremely durable with 63 games played as a goalie. His save percentage is alarming, and the Q has not produced many goalies of note lately. Eric Veillieux is directly responsible for this signing–the coach was the had man for the Drakkar in 12-13 and 13-14, and Cadorette was his starting goaltender. Edmonton’s current lineup in net appears to be Cam Talbot/Ben Scrivens, Laurent Brossoit/Anders Nilsson, Eetu Laurikainen/Ty Rimmer/Phillipe Cadorette. Scrivens might be traded, but buzz about that move appears to have worn off. Expect Laurikainen to get the heavy minutes, and for Rimmer to be assigned to Norfolk. Cadorette might be on the outside looking in.
Marcus Hinds, RW, 43 points between Blainville-Boisbriand and Cape Breton (QMJHL)
A scorer! Norfolk will be extremely young this year and Hinds will be looking to make his mark in his first professional season. Hinds increased his totals each year in the Q and finished as Cape Breton’s sixth-leading scorer. The rookie appears to be a disciplined scorer, with 8 PIMs all year.
Christopher LaLonde, LW, 73 points between Moncton and Shawinigan
Lalonde was captain of the Moncton Wildcats before a trade sent him to Shawinigan. He was incredibly successful there, putting up 23+25=48 in 35 games for the Cataractes. His performance made him, like Hinds, the 6th highest scorer on his new team in the wide-open Q. Shawinigan is where EV broke into coaching–and another likely contact in inking this player.A small note: LaLonde played 2 uneventful games for the A-Flames last year.
Jordan McNaughton, D, 56 points for Truro of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League
I have no idea what the Maritime Junior A Hockey League is, beyond its name. A link on MacNaughton’s EliteProspects page shows that the defenseman had committed to play at Mount Royal University. Inking a contract with the Admirals means this is probably not true, and I don’t know what this means, really. MacNaughton had brief stops in the OHL with Brampton (now North Bay) and Windsor, but they never panned out. Getting a player from this level is a bit of a reach, even for the ECHL. If he can perform, he’s a good find for an offensive-defenseman.
Alexandre Ranger, RW, 55 points in 56 games for Chicoutimi
Surprise! This is another player from the Q. While Ranger won’t turn 20 until the 18th of this month, he has already accumulated 4 years in Major Junior, including two with EV. Ranger got better every year, and apparently had a bit of a rough side with 93 PIMs in 13-14 and 69 last year. The 95 PIM put Ranger third on EV’s last QMJHL team, and apparently that made an impression. In a strange turn, Ranger was traded this offseason to Cape Breton. I think he could go back if necessary, but that would be kind of strange.
Norfolk Admirals Signed to ECHL Contracts for 2014-15
Kain Allicock, LW
Chase Schaber, LW/C
Nick MacNeil, C
Marcus Hinds, RW
Christophe LaLonde, LW
Alexandre Ranger, RW
Bakersfield AHL Contracts
Matt Ford, RW
Josh Winquist, LW
Braden Christoffer, LW/C
Connor Rankin, C/LW
Alexis Loiseau, C
Obviously, the Ads will need to sign more players. I would not be surprised to see more players from the Q due to the need of EV to heavily recruit players to the team. This is in comparison to years in the AHL, where players tended to sign with the parent club rather than the Admirals itself.