Norfolk’s opening day roster is due tomorrow at 3 PM.
Opening night at Scope draws closer, with a very big step in roster construction on Wednesday. The Admirals must submit their opening day rosters by 3 PM Eastern. These rosters can include up to 21 players on the active roster, with any other players slated for the reserve or injured reserve. Players on the reserve will obviously not play. Further, only 4 veteran players can be on the roster. The ECHL defines veterans as players with “260 professional regular season hockey games”. An exception is made for players on NHL/AHL contracts who are not yet 24 years old on opening day. As of yesterday, the Admirals had 26 players on the team. Who makes the cut?
I’ve decided to play the advantages and go with a 21-player roster. I’ve broken it down into 2 goalies, 12 forwards, and 7 defensemen,
No surprises here. Goalies are not subject to veteran rules and the Ads only have two of them on the roster.
Marco Roy (4)
Each of these players will make the team. They’re all NHL or AHL contracts, and rookies. Edmonton has an added interest as these are all rookie prospects who need ice time. I would expect these players to make the roster, if not make the opening night lineup.
Steven Whitney (1)
Steven Whitney is not a veteran, playing in 96 regular-season games before opening day. Whitney also represents a bridge between Norfolk’s recent past and future, not to mention the fact that he’s a decent goal-scorer.
Maxime Legault (1) VETERAN 1/4
Legault signed to the Admirals recently, has a decent minor pro track record, and was given a letter in their preseason game. Signs point to this guy making the team.
Michael Pelech (1) VETERAN 2/4
Pelech is a scoring presence who also fills up a veteran role. He’s too good not to make the roster.
Jordan Kremyr (1)
Surprisingly not a veteran despite four years in professional hockey. Kremyr is the captain of the group.
Josh Currie (1)
One of Bakersfield’s top scorers from last year finds his way back onto the roster.
Jonathan Lessard (1)
Another Bakersfield holdover brings his balanced scoring to the Ads.
Chase Schaber (1)
Part of Bakersfield’s leadership group last year; decent numbers in E with a small appearance in the A.
Nic MacNeil (1)
Picking a last forward is a difficult task. The roster is full of rookies, but I’m going to go with Nick MacNeil. The center played for the Condors last year, picking up 26 points in 41 games.
RESERVE: Alexandre Ranger, Marcus Hinds? I’m a bit confused on the situation with Hinds. He signed with the Admirals on August 6th, yet is committed to play college hockey at Ryerson University in Canada. The Ryerson release is dated August 26th.
CUT: Daniil Zharkov, Ryan Jasinsky
Two of the players will most likely be scratched.
Mathieu Brisebois (2)
Both of these players are on NHL contracts. They did not get sent down the ECHL to stand around.
Jordan Hill (1)
Hill is one of the more experienced players on the team in term of AHL time, and still doesn’t meet the veteran threshold (231 games).
Charles-Olivier Roussel (1)
Former 2nd round-pick might finally thrive in the ECHL.
Gabriel Verpaelst (1)
Second-year dude might fight a guy?
Joe Marciano (1)
Wore a letter during the preseason game. Probably good enough to make the team.
Tim Daly (1)
Surprisingly, one of two rookies on defense along with Ben Betker. Had an apple during the preseason game.
RESERVE: Alex Lepkowski. He fought a dude during the preseason game. I could see him switching in and out with someone depending on the situation.
CUT: Bennett Schneider
Norfolk has done a somewhat decent job of getting the roster down to a manageable size. Outside of some last minute surprises, expect the roster to match this in some fashion. Even with the opening day rosters in place, some scratches should be expected. The preseason game gave no indication of whether Eric Veilleux will go with a 10 D/ 6 F setup or a 9 F/7 D alignment or something else.
Hockey is back Friday!