The Admirals put out a press release yesterday, announcing that four guys have signed AHL contracts with the team.
Three of them we already knew about.
Goalie Scott Darling is going to be the #5 goalie in the system. We reported his arrival back in July!
Earlier this week, we introduced you to forwards Vinny Saponari and Barry Almeida.
The fourth guy, to complete the set, is defenseman Theo Ruth.
After being a teammate of one Mark Van Guilder and one Ryan Thang at Notre Dame, Ruth spent the last three years playing for the Springfield Falcons in the AHL.
The statistics won’t overwhelm you.
149 regular season games, 2 goals, 14 assists, and a combined -50 defensively over the three years in Springfield.
I’m hopeful that there’s more to his game than meets the ice with those stats. I go back and forth on the whole +/- debate in general these days. That number sticks out, but maybe he was consistently matched up against the opponents top lines. The Falcons were around a .500 team his first two seasons, before winning their division by 20 points last season.
Ruth was a 2nd round pick by the Washington Capitals in 2007, selected three picks after P.K. Subban, eight picks before former Admiral goalie Jeremy Smith, and twelve picks in front of Nick Spaling. He was acquired by the Blue Jackets in the deal that sent Sergei Fedorov to Washington. He was the only piece that went to Columbus in that deal.
At the time he was drafted, the Caps put together a nice get-to-know-your-draft-pick page for him, with some scouting reports.
Central Scouting Bureau: A stay-at-home defenseman with good mobility … has a good wrist shot from the point that gets through to the net … plays the body hard and hits with authority … quick to get to the puck in the corner and strong one-on-one.
ESPN (because they know hockey, right?): Teddy Ruth is another product of Ron Rolston’s under-18 program. Although his offensive output is never going to be very high, Ruth’s character is off the charts. Ruth possesses all of the necessary skills to become an NHL defenseman, but we believe his work ethic and leadership are what will guarantee his success in the NHL. NHL comparable: Adam Foote, Columbus Blue Jackets
Now he sounds a little better, doesn’t he?
Where is he going to fit in on the depth chart? I think it may have more to do with whether or not guys like Charles-Olivier Roussel and Taylor Aronson have progressed to the point where they can hold down a Milwaukee roster spot. Ford, Bitetto, Valentine, Rodney, Piskula, and Jarvinen are probably 1-6. Not sure how they’ll come out after that.