The regular season has ended. The playoffs are set. Times are about to get very exciting for the Milwaukee Admirals. What better way to lead into the Admirals first home playoff game in nearly two-years than by having a big week of feature stories here on Roundtable? It should be a packed week and I’m hoping to drop features down each day of the week until we reach Friday when the Admirals open up the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs at home against the Grand Rapids Griffins.
The time in which the Admirals signed Matt White to a PTO contract was as grueling of a period in the Admirals season as their might have been. The roster was being stretched to the limit. The Nashville Predators were banged up. The Admirals affiliate in the ECHL was banged up. It meant seeking outside help and, amusingly, bringing in familiar faces like Vinny Saponari and Zach Budish. When that started to not go as well as perhaps the Admirals would have liked they then turned to the Los Angeles Kings ECHL affiliate the Manchester Monarchs. White came first and he was followed by Zac Larraza and Matt Leitner. All played their part. White just felt like he always was part of the Admirals from the moment he joined.
White had a terrific collegiate career at the University of Nebraska-Omaha where his efforts on and off the ice are worthy of noting. In his 2010-11 season he was named to the All-Academic Team for the NCAA’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). In total, he scored 99 points (47 goals, 52 assists) in 114 career games with Nebraska-Omaha. He went undrafted but the California native signed on as part of the Kings ECHL affiliate at the time, the Ontario Reign. He had a great debut season and followed that up with an attempt to play in Europe with Olimpija Ljubljana in Austria before returning to Ontario in the ECHL.
White was in the Kings’ ECHL camp for a total of 158 games scoring 139 points (60 goals, 79 assists) before the Admirals provided him his chance to make his AHL debut on 12/5/15 on the road against the Chicago Wolves. The very next night he scored a pair of goals and an assist, including the Teddy Bear Toss goal, in only his second career AHL game.
Ever since that grand intro to Milwaukee fans things have only continued to go well for White. His play is incredibly smooth and, in 54 games, he managed to produce 27 points (12 goals, 15 assists). That’s quite the bonus production for an Admirals team that couldn’t have had him on their radar come pre-season camp. Yet, his consistent play and solid work ethic earned him a contract that extended past this season and through to the 2016-17 season.
Thanks very much to Matt White on taking the time for this interview. Next up this week there will be three more features that will come in no particular order: Fifteen with Stefan Elliott, Scott Ford: Trading Sticks for Suits, and a 2015-16 Regular Season Retrospective.
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