A necessary trade
Norfolk had an incredibly rough road trip up north last week. The team managed to eke out a win over Adirondack in their first game, but lost several players to injury. Key among those players is Eetu Laurikainen, who has split time at goalie this season with Connor Knapp. Faced with no options, Knapp had to start 4 games in 5 days. Doing so is a ridiculous ask for goalie at the professional level. It’s especially hard when the team in front of the goalie isn’t great.
Laurikainen will be out a while, so the Admirals completed a trade. The Ads sent Samuel Noreau and the rights to Alexandre Ranger (currently with AHL San Antonio) to the Tulsa Oilers for forward Ben Murphy and goalie Steven Summerhays. Murphy addresses the problem of a depleted scoring corps. Murphy currently has 5 goals and 1 assist in 16 games. While unspectacular, Murphy is tied for third in total goals on the Admirals with TJ Foster. He might provide actual depth.
Steven Summerhays is an interesting acquisition. The goalie has played zero games this year for Tulsa. The Oklahoma Oilers have seen games from Jets prospect Jamie Phillips and Scott Greenham, who Ads fans might recognize from his Binghamton days. Summerhays played games with Alaska and Missouri last year. He had 14 games with the Aces, and put up a disappointing .826 save percentage. When he was with Missouri, he had a .921 save percentage in 8 games. Over the entire course of the season, he put up an .887 save percentage. For reference, Connor Knapp has an .897 save percentage; Laurikainen .881.
Summerhays not playing this year is a bit odd, but he is a suitable backup for Connor Knapp. The newly-acquired goalie had a solid career at the University of Notre Dame, though it has not yet translated to the pro level. With three games this week, I believe we will see Summerhays get some work. I think Summerhays should start on Wednesday because Knapp needs a break.