Tonight is the 2017 NHL Draft. It’s a date I’ve had on my calendar for awhile because I felt very strongly that this past season’s NHL Trade Deadline took a backseat to the eventual NHL Expansion Draft. Welp, that is over and done with for everyone now. We were all given Thursday off to assess the damage and next steps. Tonight’s NHL Draft could see trade activity alongside the next wave of prospects being ushered in.
Beyond these next two days comes the 2017 Nashville Predators Rookie Development Camp. After attending the event last year I am happy to announce that I will again be back in Nashville to get a look at the prospects attending and an early glimpse at some of the soon to be Milwaukee Admirals later this year.
For those who missed the official release by the Predators you can view it right here for a full run of the scheduling. What I would like to highlight here on Admirals Roundtable is the preliminary roster for this year’s Rookie Development Camp.
For a more detailed list you can view the handy dandy PDF that the Predators produced of this preliminary roster.
~Notes & Thoughts~
It is worth noting that the following names were invitees for this year’s camp: Kelleher, Osburn, Overhardt, Poddubnyi, Salvaggio, Shortridge, and Sucese. Those in Milwaukee are already familiar with Kelleher who is signed through the 2017-18 season on an AHL contract with the Admirals. As of now he is the lone “Admirals property” in attendance. Though some of those invited to the camp could be names we see again in the near future.
Let’s start by looking between the pipes because, as far as prospect depth goes, the Predators and the near future at that position is hurting. Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros have things on lockdown now for the Predators but it remains to be seen who will be entering the Admirals in both the AHL and ECHL for this coming season. Marek Mazanec and Jonas Gunnarsson do not appear to be coming back. And Mark Visentin already signed with Fehérvár AV19 in Hungary.
How would you best replace a tall Czech goaltender who catches pucks with a right glove such as Mazanec? By bringing in Vejmelka who is another tall Czech goaltender catching with a right glove.
As drafted talent goes, Vejmelka is likely the strongest candidate to make the leap into the AHL mix this coming season for the organization. He is 21-years old and has played consistently well between the top two tiers of the Czech League since being promoted from various youth academy programs. The last two seasons in particular have all been participated at the senior team level and he played 42 games in 2015-16 and 41 games in 2016-17. His best work was in Czech2, not the top flight, but he has shown signs that he could hit the ground running at the AHL level.
Other players that will be fun to see will be Allard, Moy, and Trenin who will all be starting their first seasons as professional hockey players in 2016-17. I’d expect all three to start off in Milwaukee at the AHL level. Trenin made his pro debut with the Admirals in the 2016 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs and recorded his first pro goal at the end of the Admirals 2016-17 regular season. Moy followed suit by also notching his first pro goal as an Admiral two games after Trenin.
The other whipper snapper that showed up at the end of the Admirals season to make his pro debut and record his first pro goal, Girard, will be at the camp. It is worth noting though that he will be returning to Shawinigan in the QMJHL for the 2017-18 season.
Lastly, I feel it important to make a personal announcement. I have been heavily involved in a full-time job commitment. As it has continued to drag on I feel it necessary to stick to what I do best here on Admirals Roundtable into the future until things change. Last season was a rough one behind the scenes for myself but, as is so often the case with players I watch in the AHL, adversity can be a good thing. I’ll find my way. And I will see you on Monday, Nashville. “The Doctor” is continuing on.
Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.