2007-08 Season Kicks Off Saturday
Oct 5, 2007
The Admirals return eight players from last year’s team, a squad that finished the 06-07 season with a 41-25-4-10 mark and 96 points which, was good for third place in the AHL’s West Division. Topping the list of returners is center Rich Peverley. The Guelph, ON native led the Ads in scoring last season, potting 30 goals and adding 38 assists for 68 points. Peverley also made his NHL debut last year, skating in 13 games and registering an assist with the Nashville Predators.
Milwaukee also returns their top set-up man from last season in Cal O’Reilly. O’Reilly paced the Admirals and AHL rookies with 47 assists, and also chipped in 18 goals on the year. Forwards Kelsey Wilson (9g-10a=19pts), John Vigilante (8-19=27), and Jason Guerriero (14-24=38) are also all back for their second seasons with the Admirals.
The Ads have gained significant NHL experience to their offensive corps with the additions of Matt Ellison, Josh Langfeld, and Shane Willis. The trio have a combined for over 120 points in 358 games in the National Hockey League over the past seven seasons. Ryan Maki, a Harvard grad who played with Milwaukee after his college season ended, and Mike Santorelli, a product of Northern Michigan who was a 6th round pick in 2004, complete the Admirals forwards.
Alex Henry and Nolan Yonkman, a pair of hulking defenseman who average 6’6” and 235 lbs, are the lone returns from last year’s defensive group who surrendered just 2.88 goals per game. Highly touted rookie Cody Franson, Nashville’s 3rd pick in the 2005 draft, begins his first professional season after leading Vancouver to the Memorial Cup Title last season. Mark Matheson, who skated in seven games with the Admirals at the end of last season, joins the team for his first full pro season.
The Admirals will also have a distinct European flare this year, as six newcomers embark on their first professional campaign in North America. Forwards Antti Pihlstrom, Oliver Setzinger, and Andreas Thuresson will add scoring punch up front, while blueliners Janne Niskala, Richard Stehlik and Alexander Sulzer will help solidify the back end.
Minding the crease for Milwaukee will again be All-Star goaltender Pekka Rinne. The Kempele, Finland native, who led the Admirals to the 2006 Calder Cup Finals, returns for his third season with Milwaukee after finishing last year with a 2.34 goals against average, a .920 save percentage and a 15-7-6 record. Joining Rinne in goal for will be Maxime Daigneault who paced the Hershey Bears with a 23-6-0 record in 06-07.
The 2007-08 home season begins on Friday, October 12 at the Bradley Center against Quad City at 7 pm. For more information about the Admirals, call the Admirals administrative offices at 414-227-0550.