The Norfolk Admirals training camp is in full swing. The physicals and fitness tests are in the books and now it’s time for some on ice action. In the AHL it is expected that there will be some new faces to each team. For us Admiral fans the whole team is pretty new to us, Over the next few posts you can get a chance to learn about the Admiral players fighting for roster spots on this years squad.
Sources: The AHL, Norfolk Admirals, Anaheim Ducks
Mat Clark – D
Age: 21 / Height: 6’3” / Weight: 205
Birthplace: Lakewood, Colorado
The Anaheim Ducks drafted Mat Clark in the 2nd round (37th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Clark has played in 142 AHL games between the Manitoba Moose and Syracuse Crunch, posting three goals and 28 points with 200 penalty minutes. He made his NHL debut last season, appearing in two games with the Ducks in April. Clark isn’t the only athlete in his family, as he has one grandmother who was a professional figure skater, another grandmother who was a professional golfer, and a sister who attended the University of South Alabama on a soccer scholarship. Plus, his uncle Ab DeMarco played 344 games in the NHL between 1969 and 1979. The Ducks assigned Clark to the Admirals on September 14th.
Gabe Guentzel – D
Age: 24 / Height: 6’0” / Weight: 187
Birthplace: Woodbury, Minnesota
Gabe Guentzel will enter his first full season of professional hockey in 2012-13. He signed an AHL Standard Player’s Contract with Norfolk on September 21st. Last season, Guentzel joined the Syracuse Crunch on an Amateur Tryout Contract following the conclusion of his collegiate career. In 12 regular season games with the Crunch, Guentzel recorded six penalty minutes. He also had an assist in four Calder Cup Playoff games. In 156 games over four seasons with the Colorado College Tigers, Guentzel recorded 16 goals and 94 points. Guentzel earned WCHA Second All-Star team honors last season and was a three-time WCHA All-Academic honors recipient (2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12). His father, Mike Guentzel, is Associate Head Coach for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey program.
Jordan Hendry – D
Age: 24 / Height: 6’0” / Weight: 197
Birthplace: Lanigan, Saskatchewan
Jordan Hendry will be one of the few familiar faces at Scope in 2012-13. Hendry made his professional debut in Norfolk at the end of the 2005-06 season after completing his Business Finance degree at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Hendry, an undrafted defenseman, appeared in 93 games with the Admirals between the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons, posting five goals and 21 points with 97 penalty minutes. Since that time, he has appeared in 129 career NHL games – all with the Chicago Blackhawks – posting four goals and 13 points with 40 penalty minutes while winning the 2010 Stanley Cup. In 201 AHL games between the Admirals, Rockford IceHogs and Houston Aeros, Hendry has 11 goals and 39 points with 210 penalty minutes. He split last season between the Aeros (10 games) and HC Lugano, netting one goal and 10 points while playing 29 games in Switzerland. Hendry signed with the Ducks on July 1st and was assigned to the Admirals by Anaheim on September 15th.
Ryan Hegarty – D
Age: 22 / Height: 6’0” / Weight: 200
Birthplace: Arlington, Massachusetts
Ryan Hegarty will make his professional debut in 2012-13. The 22-year-old defenseman from Massachusetts spent the previous four years with the University of Maine Black Bears, posting four goals and 29 points with 140 penalty minutes. Last season, Hegarty’s plus-7 rating was tied for the best among team defensemen and he was counted upon in penalty killing and shutdown defense situations. Prior to joining the Black Bears, he played for the United States National Development Program, winning a bronze medal at the 2008 IIHF World Under-18 Championships. Hegarty was originally drafted by the Ducks in the fourth round (113th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Hegarty signed an AHL Standard Player’s Contract with the Admirals on September 21st.
Nate Guenin – D
Age: 29 / Height: 6’2” / Weight: 210
Birthplace: Aliquippa, Pennsylvania
Nate Guenin was drafted by the New York Rangers in the 4th round (127th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Guenin has played in 375 AHL games with the Syracuse Crunch, Springfield Falcons, Peoria Rivermen, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Philadelphia Phantoms, scoring 14 goals and 83 points with 512 penalty minutes. In his NHL career, Guenin has played 32 games with the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Columbus Blue Jackets and Anaheim Ducks, scoring two goals and four points with 14 penalty minutes. Guenin also played collegiate hockey at Ohio State University where he netted six goals and 53 points in 151 games with the Buckeyes. Guenin served as captain in Syracuse last season. He agreed to terms on an AHL Standard Player’s Contract with the Admirals on September 26th.
Hampus Lindholm – D
Age: 18 / Height: 6’3” / Weight: 195
Birthplace: Helsingborg, Sweden
Eighteen-year-old Hampus Lindholm joins the Admirals after being drafted by the Anaheim Ducks just three months ago. The first-round pick (6th overall) was a top defenseman for Sweden in the 2012 U-18 World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic, where he recorded a goal and four points while earning a silver medal. Lindholm is expected to become the youngest player in AHL Admirals history. Should he play on opening night, Lindholm will be 18 years, eight months and 23 days old, surpassing the previous mark held by Dana Tyrell, who made his debut at 18 years, ten months and 28 days old on March 21, 2008. Lindholm split the 2011-12 season in Sweden between Rogle’s junior and Allsvenskan teams; he recorded five goals and 17 points and a plus-25 rating in 28 games for their junior squad and one goal and four points in 20 contests for their senior club. He was assigned to the Admirals by Anaheim on September 14th.
Nick Schaus – D
Age: 26 / Height: 5’11” / Weight: 200
Birthplace: Orchard Park, New York
Nick Schaus enters his third full season of professional hockey in 2012-13. The New York native spent the majority of last season with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, posting four goals and eight points with 30 penalty minutes in 45 games. He also netted a goal and five points with four penalty minutes in ten games with the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals. In 126 career AHL games between the Crunch and Worcester Sharks, Schaus has scored eight goals and 30 points with 78 penalty minutes. He originally signed with the San Jose Sharks as an undrafted free agent out of UMass-Lowell. In his 148 career games with the River Hawks, Schaus registered ten goals and 65 points with 220 penalty minutes. He also played four seasons of junior hockey in the USHL with the River City/Omaha Lancers and was the USHL Defenseman of the Year in 2005-06. Schaus signed an AHL Standard Player’s Contract with the Admirals on September 21st.
Matt Smaby – D
Age: 27 / Height: 6’6” / Weight: 239
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Admirals fans will remember Matt Smaby playing at Scope during parts of the 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. The former second-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning (41st overall in 2003) has appeared in 90 games with the Admirals, scoring three goals and 14 points with 105 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-6, 239-pound blueliner from Minneapolis, Minnesota, has appeared in 156 career AHL games between the Admirals, Springfield Falcons and Syracuse Crunch, scoring seven goals and 39 points with 194 penalty minutes. He has also played 122 career NHL games with Tampa Bay, posting six assists and 106 penalty minutes. Last season, Smaby tied for third with a plus-12 rating with Syracuse while netting two goals and nine points in 30 games. Smaby was signed to an AHL Standard Player’s Contract with the Admirals on September 26th.
Sami Vatanen – D
Age: 21 / Height: 5’9” / Weight: 163
Birthplace: Jyväskylä, Finland
A fourth-round selection (106th overall) of the Anaheim Ducks in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Sami Vatanen will make his North American professional debut in 2012-13. Despite being only 21 years old, Vatanen already has played 156 professional games in the Finnish Elite League with his hometown team Jyväskylä, netting 32 goals and 103 points with 114 penalty minutes. In 2010-11, Vatanen was named the Finnish Elite League’s Defenseman of the Year and was also named to the All-Star Team. He patterns his game after five-time NHL All-Star defenseman Scott Niedermayer, who retired as a member of the Anaheim Ducks and remains in the organization to help develop the team’s defensemen. The Ducks assigned Vatanen to the Admirals on September 14th.