Posted By: Aaron Sims
Training camp began Tuesday for the Milwaukee Admirals and new head coach Kirk Muller. The team will have just three full practices and a morning skate before its first exhibition game against the Rockford IceHogs at MSOE’s Kern Center Friday night.
This season, only five players who didn’t attend camp in Nashville have been invited to Milwaukee to show their respective skills to Muller, assistant coach Ian Herbers and Cincinnati head coach Jarrod Skalde (who is assisting in Milwaukee's camp this week). Those players are David Leaderer
, Chris Cahill
, Evan Trupp, Aaron Marvin and Garrett Suter.
Leaderer, Cahill and Suter all have signed two-way contracts with Milwaukee and ECHL Cincinnati. That leaves Trupp and Marvin as, really, the only “tryout” guys here.
Leaderer and Cahill were with the Admirals at the end of last season. Trupp, Marvin and, to a lesser extent, Suter are new to the team. Here’s a quick look at those three new players.
– I’ve really liked this guy after two days. Yes, I realize it’s only two days of practice, but he has shown a good shot and good speed. He’s listed at 5’9” but is able to move. From my perch, he’s been in the right spots in practice and he goes all out on every drill.
He played four years for coach Dave Hakstol at the University of North Dakota. As a junior and senior, he won UND’s Cliff "Fido" Purpur Award, given to the Sioux player who exemplifies hard work, determination and being a creator of excitement on the ice.
His final two seasons, he scored 75 points in 87 games, including 41 points as a senior in 44 games. He was a +21 as a senior. As a junior, he led North Dakota with 14 shorthanded shots on goal. That indicates he can “create excitement”.
To me, averaging nearly a point per game at any level is impressive. I think it’s all the more impressive when it’s done with an elite team that plays against elite competition.
The Anchorage, AK native signed a deal with Cincinnati and should prove to be a solid player for coach Skalde. I would guess he would be an AHL callup for some team as the season wears on.
– In Wisconsin hockey, there are a couple “first families”: the Johnsons and the Suters. In Minnesota hockey, there are a few, too: the Christians and the Marvins are near the top. Aaron Marvin is the grandson of US Hockey Hall of Famer Cal Marvin. Aaron’s father played college hockey at Brown. His sister, Gigi, was a member of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. Aaron has a number of uncles and cousins that have played collegiately, too.
Marvin was drafted in the third round by Calgary in 2007. In four years at St. Cloud State he appeared in 154 games. He was the captain of the Huskies as a senior and was an alternate captain as a junior, when he served 73 penalty minutes.
Marvin became known for his physical play in college. A few of his hits have been called dirty by observers, including one on Blake Geoffrion
and another on Chay Genoway
. He is listed at 6’3” and 210 pounds.
Marvin played three games at the end of last season with AHL Abbotsford but was not tendered a contract by the Flames. He’s here with something to prove. He has been skating with Robert Slaney and Trupp at practice.
– When I was broadcasting Badgers hockey games in 2003-04, Garrett could often be found in the stands at the Kohl Center watching his older brother, Ryan, and the rest of the team practice. At the end of practice, he would visit with assistant coaches Troy Ward and John Hynes and ask them about drills he should be doing so he could one day become a Badger and eventually move to the NHL.
After committing to the Badgers, Suter never got academically
on track to get into Madison. After playing for USHL Green Bay, BCHL Salmon Arm, USHL Waterloo and USHL Omaha, he ended up at UW-Stevens Point. Late last season, he signed with ECHL Cincinnati and played 20 games (four in the playoffs).
Suter is a physical player that has started to control his emotions during games, thanks to the help of former UWSP coach Wil Nichol. Nichol said Suter was the best D-3 player in the country
when he checked his emotions. Suter led Stevens Point in points with 23 (in 27 games). He also led the club in shots on goal with 55, an impressive feat for a defenseman.
Suter has been paired with Leaderer on defense during camp.
Coach Muller indicated that he won’t be shaking up line combinations this week because he wants players to be comfortable with each other heading into the exhibition games.
The lines have looked like this:
Jani Lajunen (LW) – Joel Champagne (C) – Juuso Puustinen (RW)
Robert Slaney (LW) – Aaron Marvin (C) – Evan Trupp (RW)
Josh Shalla (LW) – Mark Van Guilder (C) – Taylor Beck (RW)
Chris Cahill (LW) – Michael Latta (C) – Ryan Flynn (RW)
Jeff Foss (LD) – Taylor Aronson (RD)
Victor Bartley (LD) – Scott Ford (RD)
David Leaderer (LD) – Garrett Suter (RD)
Scott Valentine (LD) – Charles-Olivier Roussel (RD)
The goalies have been Chet Pickard and Atte Engren (who has cut his hair).
Since it's hockey season, I leave you with one of my musical heroes, the great Warren Zevon.