Kyle Palmieri Loaned to Norfolk Admirals for Conditioning Assignment
Kyle Palmieri has been loaned to the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL for a conditioning assignment. Palmieri, 23, suffered a high ankle sprain before the preseason began and has only recently begun to skate with the team.
Palmieri was drafted by the Ducks in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft (26th overall). He set career highs last season in games played (71), goals (14), assists (17), points (31), and +/- (+9). Palmieri has spent parts of four seasons with the Ducks, scoring 29 goals and 60 points in 141 career NHL games. Palmieri also has six goals and eight points in 16 postseason games in the last two seasons. He had three points (all goals) in nine postseason games against the Dallas Stars and Los Angeles Kings in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, where he was fifth on the team in goals and 12th in points.
Palmieri is an aggressive, energetic winger. He has a terrific shot and is looking to always put the puck on net. Palmieri also has good skating speed, is willing to engage on the forecheck, and can retrieve pucks along the wall. He also uses his energy well in the defensive aspect of the game. He’s not going to be consistently digging pucks out of the corners against bigger, stronger players: he is small by NHL standards (5’11, 195 lbs). He also defends more based on energy, rather than positioning or stick work. However, Palmieri has an interesting skillset that should give the Ducks another wing option.
Palmieri should compete with Rickard Rakell and Tim Jackman for the final right wing spot (as Corey Perry, Jakob Silfverberg, and Devante Smith-Pelly occupy the first three spots). He is at a slight disadvantage, with the other two players getting consistent playing time for the team, but with a strong performance, Palmieri could impress Boudreau. He should be motivated to prove to the coaching staff that he should get more playing time after being a healthy scratch for four games of the playoffs last season.
Palmieri is getting the conditioning assignment because he has played in no games since May 16th, when the Ducks were eliminated 6-2 by the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals. While Dany Heatley returned to the lineup without a conditioning stint, the circumstances are somewhat different for Palmieri. First, Heatley had suffered his injury the preseason, where he scored two goals and three points in three games. Palmieri, again, has had no game action since May. It’s not well-advised to throw in a player competing for a roster spot without some games under his belt. Also, Heatley returned while winger Patrick Maroon was recovering from a sprained MCL. The Ducks needed forward reinforcements, as many of their players at the time were having trouble scoring goals. Right now, the Ducks are at a good spot with their forwards. Ryan Getzlaf has five goals and 16 points, while Ryan Kesler has five goals and 14 points. Matt Beleskey and Silfverberg each have eight points, while Perry has 15, despite missing the past four games with what was diagnosed as the mumps virus. Palmieri can provide scoring for this club, but they’re getting healthy production from their lineup and have no real need to rush the young winger back.
The Norfolk Admirals play the Binghamton Senators on Friday and Saturday at home. If Palmieri plays in both of those games, he could either return for Sunday’s contest against the Florida Panthers at Honda Center or on Tuesday’s game, when the Ducks travel to the province of Alberta to face the Calgary Flames.
Jason Byun is the editor for Pucks of a Feather. He can be found on Twitter. For more Anaheim Ducks coverage, follow Pucks of a Feather on Twitter or like us on Facebook.