First Impressions of the New-Look Admirals - Part 2
It seems like just days ago that the historic 2011-12 season came to an end with the Admirals raising the Calder Cup in Toronto. In the short time since that day, the Admirals have undergone some major changes. We are excited to partner with the Anaheim Ducks to continue the tradition of Admirals excellence on and off the ice.
With the new affiliation will come new players as training camp begins late this week. Over the next several days, we'll introduce you to our new Admirals a few players at a time. So without further adieu, we introduce you to the second set of your 2012-13 Norfolk Admirals! (Read Part 1 | Read Part 3 | Read Part 4)
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 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 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.
Former first-round draft pick Peter Holland (15th overall in 2009 by Anaheim) enters his second full professional season in 2012-13. Last season, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound forward played in 71 AHL games with the Syracuse Crunch, ranking second on the club with 60 points and third on the team with 23 goals. Holland was one of Syracuse's hottest players down the stretch last season. He led the team with 19 points (5g, 14a) and ranked third with a plus-10 rating as the team won 15 of its final 20 games and qualified for the post-season in the regular season's final game. Holland also made his NHL debut last season, posting one goal in four games with Anaheim. His first NHL goal was the game-winner against Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks on November 11, 2011. Holland was assigned to the Admirals by Anaheim on September 14th.
Matt Kennedy was selected in the 5th Round (131st overall) by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Kennedy has played in 111 AHL games between the Charlotte Checkers and Syracuse Crunch, netting six goals and 21 points with 135 PIM. He appeared in 42 games with Syracuse last season before suffering an injury in late January that sidelined him the rest of the season. The Ducks acquired Kennedy along with center Stefan Chaput from the Hurricanes in exchange for center Ryan Carter on November 23, 2010. Prior to turning pro, Kennedy appeared in 231 career games between the OHL's Guelph Storm and Barrie Colts, netting 79 goals and 151 points with 336 penalty minutes. He captained the Storm and led the team in scoring in his final full season with the club (2008-09) and was selected to the 2010 OHL All-Star Game. Kennedy was assigned to the Admirals by Anaheim on September 14th.
John Kurtz enters his third full professional season in 2012-13. He has played in 67 career AHL games, all with the Syracuse Crunch, netting six goals and eight points with 149 penalty minutes. He has also appeared in 27 career ECHL games with the Elmira Jackals, posting four goals and 11 points with 30 penalty minutes. Prior to turning pro, Kurtz appeared in 251 career games in the OHL between the Windsor Spitfires and Sudbury Wolves, scoring 71 goals and 143 points with 175 penalty minutes. Kurtz ranked second in goals (30) and fourth in points (46) with Sudbury in his final junior season (2009-10) while serving as team captain.