The 2015-16 season for the Milwaukee Admirals was a really special one. The team itself unveiled brand new identity with updated logos and uniforms. And it was also the final season for the team in the Bradley Center. The 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs may not have gone as hoped for the Admirals but it did provide a special moment in the life of a then teenager named Anthony Richard who made his professional hockey debut on a big stage.
It was very hard to not notice how good Richard was during his debut in the Admirals playoff run last season. He was coming in from a junior playing career with Val-d’Or where he scored 238 points (111 goals, 127 assists) in 232 games in the QMJHL. He sat out the end of the season due to a patella injury but, hurting still or not, it didn’t show when he suited up for the Admirals in the playoffs. He has such incredible speed on the ice and was quite possibly the best forward for the Admirals in last year’s playoffs despite not getting on the scoresheet.
When looking at how his first pro season has gone that last sentiment played out in a negative to start the campaign. He was struggling to produce and his speed was -at times- becoming a small negative in how he overplayed the game. He was scoreless in his first 15 games in the AHL. He would earn his first career pro points, both goal and assist, as a member of the Cincinnati Cyclones in the ECHL.
On 12/16/16 Richard, playing for the Cyclones at the time, lost an edge and went flying into the end-boards and would leave the game. The result of the collision left him with a concussion that cost him nearly a full month of hockey. While it may have been a bad experience. While it would be tough to watch from a distance. The time away helped Richard get composed and return to the Admirals lineup as a relaxed and re-energized player. It all started to come together once the Admirals took a road trip ti Charlotte where he would earn an assist one night and his first AHL goal the next.
Richard is the youngest player on the Admirals roster this season. He looks every bit of that, too. He turned 20-years old at the end of December. The more this season goes on the more Richard seems to improve and look comfortable on the ice. Plus, he is in a great locker room to continually grow on and off the ice with the phenomenal French Canadian contingent that the Admirals have. We’re all only just starting to see flashes of what Richard can be.
Thanks to Anthony Richard for taking the time to chat – on a day where he had taken a Frédérick Gaudreau shot off the jaw during practice no less. Tomorrow we will have “Fifteen with Justin Kirkland” up and “Fifteen with Justin Florek” will come on Thursday. Any requests for the next batch of the “Fifteen” series? Please leave you suggestions in the comment section below.
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