The Milwaukee Admirals 2014-15 season starts tonight on home ice with the Charlotte Checkers. We’ve already given a bit of a preview as to what we should expect out of the Ads this season. So let’s hop right into the fire and figure out the enemy.
~Et Tu, Mac?~
The first thing that leaps out at me when looking at the Checkers this season is a former Admiral goaltender who comes in at a boastful 6’0″ tall. Last season he absolutely cleaned the floor with the Admirals in the playoffs whilst playing for the Toronto Marlies. Yes. I am of course talking about Drew MacIntyre.
In the playoffs MacIntyre was fantastic for the Marlies. He held a 2.08 GAA with a 0.941 SV% through 14 games of the Calder Cup Playoffs. He earned himself a one-year, two-way contract with the Carolina Hurricanes in the off-season. With Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin up with the Canes in the NHL – MacIntyre finds himself back in the AHL paired with 26-year old goaltender John Muse.
Anticipate the familiar face being the man in net for the Checkers. And if you thought we had goalie injury woes in the system last year – think about this Charlotte team. In 2013-14 the Checkers played ten different goaltenders. Believe me when I say this is a team that hopes they’ll be able to rely on MacIntyre, Muse, and hopefully no one else.
The oldest man on the Checkers defense is 24-year old Michal Jordan (no relation). He has 267 games of AHL experience under his belt – as well as 5 games in the NHL. Behind him: Rasmus Rissanen, 188 games played at the AHL level. Beau Schmitz, who has fluctuated between the AHL and ECHL over his first two-seasons. Dennis Robertson, who had a one-game cameo after his career at Brown University came to an end. Danny Biega and Keegan Lowe, who are both entering their second full-season of pro hockey. Austin Levi, who played his first pro season at the ECHL level and has yet to play in the AHL. And lastly, 20-year old Trevor Carrick who is a bonafide rookie.
Long story short. I thought our defense was pretty young and lacking professional playing experience. They could and should be just as vulnerable as our defense – if not more so.
~Prospect Watch List~
Taking a gander at the fall rankings for the Hurricanes on Hockey’s Future – the Checkers boast 6 prospects from the Canes Top 20. The top of that crop is 20-year old winger Brock McGinn. He spent last year doing amazing things for the highly successful Guelph Storm and, previously, had the opportunity to play 4 games in the AHL during the 2012-13 season. He should be the one worth looking out for in red tomorrow night. He scored 85 points (43 goals, 42 assists) in 58 games in the OHL last year. Can he translate that to professional success in Charlotte?
~That Boychuk Kid Again~
Zach Boychuk is somewhat of an enigma. He’s the sort to light up the AHL, get called up to the NHL, not do much, get sent back down, and continue producing offense in the AHL. He averages 0.89 PPG through 296 career AHL games. At the NHL level he currently sits with a 0.25 PPG in 96 career games.
He ended last season with the second most points scored in the AHL: 74 points (36 goals, 38 assists) in 69 games. No one last year scored more goals in the AHL than him. Is he going to replicate that success? This isn’t an NHL fixture so my guess is a firm yes.
What are your expectations from tonight’s season opener? Who would you start in net for the Milwaukee Admirals? Scoreline prediction?