Tagged: Norfolk Admirals

Dany-Heatley2

Anaheim Ducks‘ 14th year veteran left wing Dany Heatley(51) signed a one year deal over the summer after spending a three seasons with Minnesota Wild (two as assistant captain), 2 with San Jose Sharks, 4 with Ottawa Senators and his first three with 2000 draft team (1st round, #2 overall) Atlanta Thrashers.

He was hampered by an early groin injury at the beginning of the campaign and then had to fight to gain a roster spot on an already pretty deep team with many prospects in the wings.

When he did get in, reports have it that he looked out of step, unable to keep up and failed to connect with the score sheet in six contests.

Before Christmas for the first time ever he was put on waivers for reassignment to under performing minor league affiliate Norfolk Admirals.

The somewhat huge 6’3″ 219 lbs. forward looks a lot out of place skating in the AHL but basically seems to only have it in third gear most of the time.

He has an unimpressive 2 tallies and 5 helpers in 24 games.

Where the former two-time 50 goal scorer goes next is fully up in the air but retirement may not be out of the question for the 34-year old.

In a career 869 NHL games, he has scored an absolutely phenomenal 372 goals and 419 assists with a +38 rating and won an Olympic Gold Medal in 2010 with Team Canada, pretty great stats to hang up the skates with.

Original story: 2/24-15

Four days after this article was posted he would get traded from the Ducks‘ organization to Florida Panthers and be reassigned to their minor league affiliate San Antonio Rampage.

Even though he wasn’t going to be skating more NHL games with the big club, it was easily a much happier landing place as he was on a high scoring squad in playoff contention.

His play pointed towards better surroundings as he scored 6 goals and 7 assists in 18 contests but failed to connect in three postseason match-ups.

As his 15th season of pro hockey approaches he makes the commitment to join Nurnberg Ice Tigers as the new DEL calendar is just getting started.

He should be able to fully find his scoring touch on the bigger sheets of ice and may play out a few more years overseas before deciding to move onto the next chapter post-hockey life.

jesse-blacker

3rd year defenseman Jesse Blacker(4) was swapped to Anaheim Ducks‘ organization earlier this season in what amounted to a mostly minor league transaction.

He was originally a Toronto Maple Leafs‘ 2nd round pick in the 2009 draft (#58 overall) and spent a couple of good campaigns with their farm team, Toronto Marlies.

The change of scenery to the DucksAHL affiliate Norfolk Admirals has done him lots of good, as he’s already surpassed his career high with 5 goals and 17 points and is well on his way to recording more helpers than he’s put up in one season.

The 6’2″ 190 lbs. blue liner received a pair of late call-ups in 2012/2013 but was never inserted into the lineup.

The 22-year old’s entry level deal is up at the end of the current campaign and he’s set to become a restricted free agent but with his consistent play it would be easy to see him finally make his NHL debut and extended at least another season.

He was also on 2009 Memorial Cup and OHL Champion junior hockey team, Windsor Spitfires.

Original story: 1/9-14

Finishing the 2013/2014 with an AHL career high 6 goals, 19 assists and 24 points, he would also own an abysmal -16 plus/minus on a team that squeaked into the postseason.

He played another 10 Calder Cup Playoff games contributing a goal.

With his initial deal expiring he was extended for another year and finally made his first NHL appearance.

He skated 9 shifts for 6:03 with one hit and one break-up but was a -2 in the loss.

The recall was in all likelihood to display him for a trade option, which happened as he was dished to Florida Panthers just days later.

He was immediately sent to affiliate San Antonio Rampage, where he finished out the season but the parent club with another rough -15 rating chose not to qualify him, rendering the 24-year old an unrestricted free agent.

For his 5th pro campaign he signed a one-year minor league contract with Texas Stars for 2015/2016.

He may see better results going forward with the pressure from above to excel and may just re-find his footing.

steven-whitney

Anaheim Ducks‘ undrafted right wing Steven Whitney(23) signed an ato with minor league affiliate Norfolk Admirals after finishing his four-year college hockey career at Boston College. The 22-year old was considered the best unselected player available.

He scored his first pro goal in his AHL debut and has added 3 more assists in 5 games played.

The 5’7″ 165 lbs. forward is a ball of energy out there and has no problem dishing the puck for scoring chances or getting himself into the open areas of the ice to bury it despite being one of the smallest skaters.

In his final two seasons with the Eagles he was a point-per-game guy, won a pair of NCAA Championships and continues on that tear.

He signed a two-year NHL entry level deal through 2015 and has to be making the parent club smile about their new prospect.

Original story: 4/17-13

In 8 games on the ato he would get 3 goals and an assist but had a -2 rating.

To start his sophomore campaign he was basically reassigned back to the Admirals and stayed there for 65 games. He would only connect for 10 goals and 13 assists with a -7 plus/minus.

He wasn’t extended a qualifying offer to continue in the Ducks‘ prospect system and basically took the first half of his third season off.

When he decided it was time to start playing hockey again, he made a smart signing with Florida Everblades.

In 23 games he would net 8 goals and 8 assists with a +7 rating but came up a bit empty in the postseason with only one tally and 2 helpers.

The now 24-year old isn’t mulling a decision heading into 2015/2106, maybe a little ironically signing a one-year deal back with Norfolk Admirals but since dropped down a rung to the ECHL.

Igor-Bobkov

Anaheim Ducks‘ 3rd round pick in the 2009 draft (#76 overall), 2nd year Russian goaltender Igor Bobkov(35) found himself dropping in the team’s depth chart and reassigned to ECHL affiliate Utah Grizzlies to start the final year of his 3-year entry level deal. The first season had a “slide” as he was signed but returned to junior hockey with Kingston Frontenacs.

He turned pro with a pair of AHL starts in 2011 and 4 more at the end of 2012 but officially began his rookie campaign with minor league affiliate Norfolk Admirals last year.

The gigantic 6’6″ 235 lbs. goalie has yet to put up decent numbers on this side of the ice and there’s now a bit of a logjam in net with hot prospects, so could find himself on the trading block to see if there’s any takers.

The still super-young 22-year old will either have to find his game pretty quickly at this point or return to his home country and join a KHL team. Or he could head elsewhere.

He was recently recalled to the higher league after three starts in double A hockey but ultimately may still play out the remainder of his contract in Utah.

Original story: 10/27-13

He would bounce between Ducks‘ affiliates for much 2013/2014 playing more games with better success in the lower league, but he was still signed to a one-year extension approaching restricted free agency and continued to battle to get back on the parent club’s radar.

In his new contract year though, he would play a fewest 7 games with a less than great 4.27 GAA and .852 SV% on a Norfolk team that struggled mightily.

He reached new career highs with Utah Grizzlies playing in a high 34 contests with 19 wins and 4 shutouts and continued his good play helping them get into the 2nd round of the playoffs before their exit.

At 24-years old and looking at another season working on his game in the minors, he has decided to jump ship heading home to the KHL on 2-year deal with Admiral Vladivostok.

igor-bobkov-1

anton-laganiere28

Anaheim Ducks‘ left wing Antoine Laganiere(28) finished his first year with 10 goals, 8 assists in 72 games and given an extension for a second season.

In his sophomore campaign he upped his totals in the AHL playing a new high 73 contests and scoring 14 goals and 21 points.

He still carried a -6 plus/minus but was on a team that found ways to lose on a nightly basis.

The now 25-year old enters his third season signed to a minor league deal with his former NHL contract team’s affiliate San Diego Gulls.

It would be surprising if he didn’t increase his game to another level.

kyle-wilson1

After 7 seasons of pro hockey in North America, 28-year old center Kyle Wilson(7) opts for a 1-year contract to join 2012 and 2013 KHL champs Dinamo Riga.

He was most recently signed to a two-year deal by Nashville Predators with the second year of the deal on a one-way contract.

The 6’2″ 200 lbs. forward was moved in the off season to Tampa Bay Lightning, playing only 22 games for their minor league affiliate Syracuse Crunch but was once again on the chopping block after scoring only 5 goals.

He was traded to Anaheim Ducks, where he was reassigned to Norfolk Admirals and seemed to regain some of his scoring touch with 3 goals and 9 assists in 16 games.

In 427 AHL games, he has amassed an impressive 319 points (149 goals and 170 assists) with an outstanding +48 rating and won back-to-back Calder Cup Championships with Hershey Bears.

Originally a Minnesota Wild 9th round pick in the 2004 draft (#272 overall), he has skated in 39 NHL games with 3 different teams recording a modest 4 goals and 9 assists.

He was set to become an unrestricted free agent upon deciding to take his game overseas.

Original story: 6/12-13

He had an exceptional first season with Dinamo Riga scoring close to point-per-game numbers (17-27-44) in 49 games but was sidelined late in the campaign with a back injury.

The Oakville, ON native would switch KHL teams in the offseason on a pair of occasions and start 2014/2015 with Traktor Chelyabinsk but returned to Dinamo Riga after 22 contests.

His production suffered greatly, as he was possibly still recovering from surgery, only connecting for 2 goals and 13 assists.

Heading into his 9th season the 30-year old moves on to join MODO of the SHL for 2015/2016 and should be able to get his mojo back.

See related: 3/8-11, 3/12-13

Blair-Jones

Philadelphia Flyers‘ 9th year center Blair Jones(22) has appeared in NHL games in each of his seasons except for 2008/2009, when he skated the full slate of 80 AHL contests with Norfolk Admirals reaching a personal best 34 assists.

A veteran of 132 games in the big league (7 goals and 10 assists with a -18 rating) and 408 in the minors (100 goals, 168 assists with a -38 plus/minus), the 6’2″ 215 lbs. forward hasn’t always been blessed enough to be on good teams but is liked on the squads he’s played with because he skates a rough and tumble style and is tough to play against.

Originally a Tampa Bay Lightning 4th round pick in the 2005 draft (#102 overall), he spent his first 5 and a half seasons in their prospect system before being dealt to Calgary Flames, where he stayed for 2 and a half years before signing his current deal.

He missed 24 games in 2014/2015 due to a groin injury that required surgery and may be a bit of a long shot to return to the parent club but seems to be doing just fine where he is with 6 goals, 11 assists and a +5 in 24 games with Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Where the 28-year old goes next is likely up in the air but it would be little surprise to see him test out the waters on the other side of the hockey pond.

Original story: 3/25-15

Heading into his 10th year, he picks up a new NHL contract for 2015/2016 with Vancouver Canucks and will be a veteran presence for affiliate Utica Comets but could also put up another few games in the show.

He’ll turn 29-years old before the start of the new season and was limited to only 33 AHL games in ’14/’15 but managed to cobble together 9 goals and 12 assists with a +3 rating on a team that was well out of the playoff picture.

See related: 8/3-11, 11/18-10

teigan-zahn

Double NHL draft pick defenseman Teigan Zahn(33) was first a Chicago Blackhawks 2008 5th round selection (#132 overall) but went unsigned and back into the pool and later chosen by Tampa Bay Lightning in the 7th round of 2010 (#186 overall) but not tendered an offer. He attended training camps with both teams.

After his overage season serving as captain of WHL Saskatoon Blades in which he posted career bests in games played, assists, points and +39 plus/minus, he decided to go the college route and enrolled at University Of Calgary.

The 6’2″ 221 lbs. blue liner with good size and grit to his game signed a one-year AHL contract with Oklahoma City Barons to start his pro career but was dispatched to affiliate Stockton Thunder, where he stayed for most of his first campaign. He was recalled for a month and appeared in 5 games registering his first point, an assist.

To start his sophomore season he scored a training camp tryout with Anaheim Ducks before he was reassigned to farm club, Norfolk Admirals‘ camp and continued to get passed along landing with Utah Grizzlies.

The 24-year old was again summoned up and got into three more games in the higher league notching yet another assist but was returned a couple of weeks later.

In 42 ECHL games, he has 3 goals and 9 assists putting him on pace for career highs in all categories.

He will need to keep connecting and finding his game or he may be looking overseas for his next hockey home.

Original story: 2/20-14

After posting career highs for goals, assists and points (7-11-18) in 2013/2014, he signed his next contract with Colorado Eagles.

He continued to increase his totals achieving new marks for games played (70), assists (17), points (20), plus/minus (12), shots on goal (107) and more than doubled his penalty minutes to a whopping 298, good enough for 2nd in the ECHL.

Another stat that made a huge jump for the increasingly agitated skater was fighting majors, which made a big step up to 20, almost doubling what he had in two previous seasons.

The still just 25-years old agreed to return for another season in Loveland, CO and will likely continue to see his overall game step up.

9th year defenseman Alexandre Picard(45) signed a one-year two-way deal with Pittsburgh Penguins shortly after free agency started in the offseason.

With 243 NHL games to his credit (19 goals, 46 assists), he is looks to be mostly considered a 6th or 7th defenseman.

He’s off to a good start this season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL. In 12 games, he has 1 goal and 4 assists but it’s the +9 that’s getting most of the attention.

Into his second recall, he’s already a +5 with the Pens in 7 games with no points.

Original story: 12/1-11

After skating 17 games with Pittsburgh recording 4 assists with a +4 rating and playing 12 Calder Cup Playoff games getting 6 assists, he decided that he would try his game overseas joining HC Lev Praha of the KHL but suffered a shoulder injury and was later released.

After only appearing in 11 games in the 2012/2013 season, he moved on signing a one-year deal with Graz 99ers of Erste Banke Liga.

The 6’3″ 215 lbs. d-man would once again go elsewhere and departed for DEL, where he inked to play with ERC Ingolstadt.

Now 29-years old he’s decided to head to yet another country agreeing to lace up the skates for HC Fribourg-Gotteron of NLA.

There’s no telling if he’ll finally settle but chances are probably not.

 

4th year undrafted Anaheim Ducks‘ right wing Dan Sexton(23) failed to crack the NHL lineup in 2011/2012 but in his rookie and sophomore seasons he played a combined  88 games scoring 19 goals and adding 32 assists for 51 points.

Last season for their AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch he put up 13 goals and 30 assists in 71 contests.

He also seems to underperform in the minors. At 5’10” 170 lbs. he can almost easily be tough to spot on the ice when he’s out there. He does dig but is more of the type of player that finds those open spaces in the offensive zone to score or feed the helper.

It’s almost surprising the only major injury he’s suffered thus far has been a surgically repaired nose from taking a slap shot to the face.

The 2nd year of his two-way deal he signed before last season is a one-way contract paid out at the league minimum. Not bad on the negotiation but will he find his path back to the show?

Still, good for a guy that started his pro career in the ECHL with Bakersfield Condors and eventually made it to Anaheim within that same season.  In fact, he was sent back to Bakersfield once to keep him closer by for recall.

I’m sure he’ll look back when it’s all done on that rookie year where he played 72 games in three leagues scoring 27 goals and 30 assists.

Next year he could skate in his fourth minor league city (Norfolk Admirals) despite being signed by the same parent club.

Original story: 9/11-12

In the 2nd year of his deal, he was swapped out in minor trade with Tampa Bay Lightning that sent him right back to their new affiliate Syracuse Crunch, where he helped them go all the way to the AHL Calder Cup Finals.

He was offered a qualifying offer for 2013/2014 but decided it was time to move on signing a one-year deal with TPS of Finland’s SM-liiga.

After contributing almost a point-per-game production he sought to be released and received an offer to skate for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk in the KHL for the remainder of the season.

He would re-sign to stay on for a complete campaign and led the team in all scoring categories for 2014/2015 with 19 goals and 28 assists, 47 points in 49 games.

The now 28-year old will continue where he is for 2015/2016 and could really be finding his scoring stride overseas and potentially pursue a return home to North American pro hockey.