The Milwaukee Admirals will be short a defenseman tonight. The Nashville Predators have just recalled Anthony Bitetto for his first career call up and he is expected to make his NHL debut tonight against the Detroit Red Wings.
Press Release via Nashville Predators:
Nashville, Tenn. (January 17, 2015) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Saturday that the team has recalled defenseman Anthony Bitetto from Milwaukee (AHL). This is Bitetto’s first career recall.
Bitetto, 24 (7/15/90), leads Milwaukee defensemen in points (2g-17a-19pts) while appearing in all 38 of the team’s games in 2014-15. During the team’s current six-game winning streak, the Island Park, New York, native has six points (1g-5a), moving him into a tie for eighth among all AHL blueliners in assists, and into the Top 15 League d-men in points. A season ago, his first full campaign at the AHL level, the 6-0, 215-pounder tied for sixth among AHL defensemen in goals (11), and for ninth in power-play goals (6).
Nashville’s fourth choice, 168th overall (sixth round), in the 2010 Entry Draft, Bitetto did not miss a game during a two-year collegiate career at Northeastern University (Hockey East) from 2010-12, compiling 35 points (7g-28a) in 72 games, and helped the Indiana Ice win the 2009 Clark Cup as United States Hockey League champions. He is on Twitter @ABitetto7.
The Nashville Predators, who are in the midst of a five-game winning streak, take on the Detroit Red Wings tonight (6 p.m. CT, FOX Sports Tennessee, 102.5 The Game) and the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (6:30 p.m. CT, FOX Sports Tennessee, 102.5 The Game), their final two games before the NHL’s All-Star Break. Following the All-Star Break, the NHL-leading Predators return to Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday, Jan. 27 to face the visiting Colorado Avalanche.
Bitetto has played 144 career games for the Admirals at the time of this call up and has 60 points (14 goals, 46 assists) over three seasons. He also played with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL during the 2012-13 season where he played 23 games scoring 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists). He joins Miikka Salomäki as the second Admiral to earn their first career NHL call up this season.
This news comes before the Admirals take on the Adirondack Flames later tonight. With Taylor Aronson and Johan Alm both seemingly out of the lineup with injury, and no recall from the ECHL, it looks as if the Admirals will have to roll with five defensemen tonight.
Excited for the NHL debut of Anthony Bitetto? What impact will this have on the Admirals game tonight? How do the Admirals work with five defenseman if Aronson and Alm remain hurt?