Rookie head coach Kirk Muller and the Milwaukee Admirals take to the Kern Center this afternoon for day one of Ads training camp. There are some familiar faces on the camp roster, including Admirals vets Scott Ford, Mark Van Guilder, Ryan Flynn and Chet Pickard. There are also players who made brief appearances with the team after their seasons were over with their primary team, such as Taylor Beck, Chris Cahill, Atte Engren and Michael Latta.
But then there is a group of players who are making their Admirals debut this afternoon. Before you throw your jersey on and run full speed towards the Kern Center because you can’t stand another second of the offseason, check out some of the newcomers attending camp:
Champagne, Joel (Quebec/QMJHL) – The 6’4 214 lb. LaSalle, PQ native certainly has the size on his side, but scouting reports say he needs some work on his foot speed and puck handling skills. He had a breakout season in 2010-2011, scoring 24 goals and 58 assists in 68 games with the Remparts. Champagne was drafted in 2008 by the Toronto Maple Leafs, but was signed by the Admirals on May 31st. After seven years in the QMJHL, it’ll be interesting to see him make the transistion to the American Hockey League.
Dupont, Brodie (NY Rangers/NHL)(Hartford/AHL) – Dupont is no stranger to the AHL, spending the last 5 seasons with the Hartford Wolf Pack/ Connecticut Whale organization. He was originally drafted by the New York Rangers in 2005, but only played one game with the NHL squad. At 6’2, 190 lbs., scouts say he is very strong and is a powerful skater. The outlook on his future is very bright, with reports saying he could very well be called up this season.
Lajunen, Jani (Espoo/FinE) – Drafted in the 7th round by the Predators in 2008, Lajunen has spend the last 4 seasons with the SM-liiga Espoo Blues. Last season was undoubtedly his best, posting 10 goals, 22 assists and a +/- +7. His talent analysis says he has excellent instinct in anticipating plays, and that he is quick for his size (6’1).
Aronson, Taylor (Portland/WHL) – Aronson was drafted in round three (#78 overall) of the 2010 NHL draft by Nashville. The 20-year old Placentia, California native has spent the last two seasons with the Winterhawks, and is coming off the best season of his career (5g, 32a, +36 +/-). Scouting reports say he will develop into a top-4 defensemen, but still lacks consistency in his game. He is also an attribute on the power play and penalty kill, and reportedly has excellent puck handling skills. He will most likely play with the Winterhawks for the 2011-2012 season.
Bartley, Victor (Rogle (SweAI) – 23-year old Maple Ridge, BC, Canada native Victor Bartley is coming off a nice season with Rogle of the Allsvenskan league (Sweden). In 52 regular season games, Bartley put up 11g, 23a and 56 penalty minutes. His scouting report states he is “An offensive-minded defenseman, Bartley is a terrific skater and puckhandler. He has good hockey sense and possesses leadership qualities. Has a solid physical game.Can get careless in his own end at times.” Bartley, who is undrafted, has already spent time in the AHL, playing 10 games with Providence in 2008 and 8 games with the Bridgeport Sounds Tigers in 2009.
Roussel, Charles-Olivier (Montreal/QMJHL) – Roussel is another Preds draft pick (#42 overall in 2009), and has spent the last four seasons in the Quebec juniors. He had a disappointing season in 2011-2012, but scouts are optimistic for him to join the AHL this season. He has a wide skill set, and can fill holes in whatever role is needed. He is ranked 6th on Nashville’s Top Prospects list on hockeydb.com.
Suter, Garret (UW-Stevens Point/NCAA3)(Cincinnati/ECHL) – Suter has some big shoes to fill, as his brother is Nashville Predator defensemen and former Milwaukee Admiral Ryan Suter. He played four years with Stevens Point (NCAA III), and played 16 games with the Cincinnati Cyclones last season. He is undrafted, so there isn’t a ton of information out on him except for his famous hockey family.
As new players are added to the camp roster, I’ll post their scouting reports from Hockeys Future. There are a couple players missing off this list, but will be covered in the next post. Team physicals at at 1pm today, followed by their first on-ice practice at 3:45. For more information on training camp, click here.