Since there is a hold on the 2012-2013 NHL season, many teams are sending their young talent to the minor leagues. The Anaheim Ducks have sent many of their young recruits to their AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals. The official start date of AHL training camps is Friday September 28th; however; many teams are holding informal practice sessions. The Norfolk Admirals are no different. The team has acquired ice at their practice rink in Chesapeake to host the informal session for the week until the ice is down at their home rink the Norfolk Scope.
Norfolk holds some serious firepower in their arsenal this year with 4 first round picks–Hampus Lindholm, Emerson Etem, Peter Holland and Kyle Palmieri. All have potential to be key players for the Ducks in the near future. Also Smith-Pelly will be a big name to watch this season for the Admirals.
With a lot of the talent coming from young-guns, fans may forget about the veterans which are the backbone of the team. The veterans are road-seasoned warriors who have been in the league for an extended period and could tell you the best pre-game meal spot in every AHL town. When speaking of AHL veterans, Jordan Hendry and Luca Cupti come to mind. Hendry and Cupti will both dress for Norfolk this season. Both of them have primarily spent their playing career in the minors and could lend a helping hand to incoming rookies like Lindholm and Etem.
Norfolk will play one exhibition game against Charlotte at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday October 6th at the Norfolk Scope. Charlotte will have a NHL All-Star on their roster when they invade Scope. Jeff Skinner, a left-handed shooting forward, was assigned to Charlotte when the lockout was declared last weekend. Skinner is one of the many NHL young guns who have been assigned to their AHL affiliate clubs. The Oilers assigned Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Ederle to their AHL club, the OKC Barons. All three of these big names could be moved to their AHL club because they are all within their three year entry level deals that makes them exempt to waivers.
With the NHL on lockout for the time being, the American League is the only brand of hockey for the North American fan. This is an excellent time for a fan of any team to get to know the future of their organization. Fans will not be disappointed in the AHL.
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