Norfolk executed another trade today, sending F Tommy Mele and D Andrew Blazek to the Cincinnati Cyclones for D Mike Ratchuk. Blazek hasn’t played for the Admirals since December 26th, so a trade feels like an appropriate move here. Losing Tommy Mele is a bit weirder.
Mele currently has 10+10=20 in 36 games with the Ads. Mele is currently tied for second on the club in goals with Jonathan Lessard. Mele’s 20 points ties him for fourth on the club. With Radoslav Illo getting healthy, Greg Chase reassigned, and Ben Betker recalled, there was a need for a defenseman with a surplus of forwards. Mike Ratchuk is a former 2nd-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers. Ratchuk has played no games in the NHL, though he does have considerable AHL and ECHL experience. During his last full season in the ECHL, 2013-14, Ratchuk put up 44 points in 69 games with the Nailers. This year, Ratchuk has appeared in 24 games with the Cyclones, potting 6 points.
I would expect Ratchuk to play tonight, as long as he has made it to Manchester. Norfolk takes on the Monarchs as part of a 4-game road swing.