Today was the first practice session held at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena during Milwaukee Admirals Training Camp. A touch of ice maintenance following Saturday night’s pre-season game against the Chicago Wolves caused the delay. But the wait was worth it – as it meant seeing Vladislav Kamenev and Harry Zolnierczyk rejoin the fold.
At this point you’re probably asking, “Where is Frédérick Gaudreau? Wasn’t he assigned alongside Kamenev yesterday?” Valid questions. And I’m not sure I have a very valid answer beyond that Gaudreau wasn’t on-hand at today’s practice whereas both Kamenev and Zolnierczyk were. The Nashville Predators made the Zolnierczyk news official. But, as of this moment, there really isn’t much to be said on the Gaudreau front. Perhaps tomorrow could clear that up: whether it be at Media Day for the Admirals or Opening Night for the Predators.
What is quite evident immediately is that this Admirals lineup is now absolutely stacked. Do yourself a favor right now and try squeezing Gaudreau into those forward lines. Someone by the name of Tyler Kelleher, Tyler Moy, or Yakov Trenin is at risk of sitting out to make the space.
With the Norfolk Admirals beginning their Training Camp this Friday it is very likely that Derek Army and Stephen Perfetto will be heading into the fray -not out of a lack of anything- but because of the sheer volume of forwards. The same can be said at defense. Rick Pinkston is now en route for Norfolk. Yet, there are still two additional defensemen competing for spots.
I am incredibly impressed by what I have seen from both Frédéric Allard and Joonas Lyytinen. In fact, I think the two as a defensive pairing works so well because their attributes are so alike. Both skate really well, have an escapability factor to them from the defensive position, they have skill on the puck, and their quickness offensively can also turn up to close down attackers while prowling on the defensive side of the job. Their work rate I feel is already bringing out great internal competition in the defensive ranks. During this Training Camp the work by Petter Granberg and Trevor Murphy have looked really good. Granberg especially seems to be picking up an extra gear and that’s an element to his game that he has needed to ratchet up to blend into an active Nashville style of defense. And, for entertainment’s sake, Granberg even won today’s shootout drill by beating both Anders Lindbäck and Matt O’Connor. He looks more confident. Having internal competition such as this only helps the group get that much sharp.
Following today’s practice I had the chance to chat with Zolnierczyk, Murphy, and Granberg. These were today’s interviews from the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
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