This morning’s practice at the BMO Harris Bradley Center provided a pretty good look into tomorrow night. There was a new addition to the Admirals today at practice along with a few absentees. Let’s dive into the ins and outs of today’s practice.
The first thing that took me awhile to figure out was – who is the guy wearing the #12 helmet? As it turns out, Mikko Vainonen has officially joined the Admirals following the Kingston Frontenacs elimination from the OHL playoffs. Kingston lost in overtime of game seven against Peterborough last week.
Vainonen was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the fourth round (118th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft. The 19-year old from Helsinki, Finland played two seasons of junior hockey with Kingston: 112 games, 40 points (8 goals, 32 assists), and 115 penalty minutes. In the recent seven game playoff series against Peterborough he scored 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) and had 8 penalty minutes. Prior to playing junior hockey in North America he played 8 games with HIFK Helsinki of the Finnish Elite League.
Ford took a nasty hit in Saturday’s game in Chicago. First impressions suggested he had an issue with his right leg. As the Sheriff pointed out on Twitter he also received some pretty good patch work done to his face.
Van Guilder is still resting up from a lower-body injury and is considered day-to-day according to head coach Dean Evason. As for Valentine, I kind of sort of forgot to ask about his status and availability so I made my own conclusion.
Young was released from his ATO today and may well be joining a new team in the AHL this week. He played his first career game as a professional hockey player when the Admirals played in Toronto. Unfortunately he was injured in that exact same game. His release, and injuries to Ford and Valentine, does mean defensemen such as Jonathan Diaby, Kirill Gotovets, and the newbie Vainonen all have a shot at playing their first professional game tomorrow night.
These are how the forward lines looked this morning:
After practice was all finished up I chatted with Dean Evason, Joe Piskula, Mikko Vainonen, and Francis Wathier. Here is what everyone had to say ahead of tomorrow night’s game against the Rockford IceHogs.
Dean Evason breaks down Saturday’s defeat against the Chicago Wolves:
Evason on how tight games have been with Chicago:
Evason talks about another new addition to the Ads, Vainonen:
Evason updates Michael Young, Scott Ford, and Mark Van Guilder:
Evason provides an update on Simon Moser:
Evason on the upcoming games against the Rockford IceHogs:
Joe Piskula’s thoughts from the last game in Chicago:
Piskula on the potential for an Amtrak Rivalry playoff series:
Piskula’s thoughts of Jake Allen:
Piskula talks about playing in front of Scott Darling and Marek Mazanec:
Piskula’s thoughts on playing Rockford the next two games:
Piskula on recent injuries and additions:
Mikko Vainonen’s thoughts on joining the Admirals:
Vainonen and I talk about the Euro mix of the Ads:
Vainonen on his time with Kingston of the OHL:
Vainonen on playing for HIFK Helsinki prior to Juniors:
Vainonen talks about his game:
Francis Wathier discusses the recent loss in Chicago:
Wathier on seeing the Wolves so often to end the season and possibly beyond:
Wathier’s thoughts of his line with Taylor Beck and Austin Watson:
Wathier’s expectations for the next two games against Rockford:
Comments on the comments? Any concerns with the injuries on defense? What do you make of some of these new additions to the Admirals – especially Diaby and Vainonen?