Predators Send Nine to Milwaukee
Sep 28, 2010
Milwaukee, WI– Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has assigned forwards Matt Halischuk, Linus Klasen, Nick Spaling, Andreas Thuresson and Kelsey Wilson; defensemen Teemu Laakso, Grant Lewis and Brett Palin; and goaltender Chet Pickard to the Milwaukee Admirals. A current training camp roster is attached.
Spaling, Thuresson, Wilson, Laakso, and Pickard have all spent significant time with the Admirals.
Thuresson played 22 games with the Predators and 50 games with the Admirals in 2009-10. He posted three points (1g-2a) as an NHL rookie, made his debut Oct. 31, 2009 vs. Dallas and notched his first NHL goal in a 2-1 overtime victory on Dec. 31, 2009 at Columbus. The Kristianstad, Sweden native also amassed 33 points (14g-19a) with the Ads, equaling his 2008-09 goal output in 24 fewer games. Thuresson also led Milwaukee in 2010 Calder Cup Playoff scoring (2g-7a-9pts) and tied for the playoff team lead in assists and penalty minutes (16).
Spaling earned his first NHL action last season, picking up three assists in 28 games with Nashville during the regular season and then skating in all six of the Predators playoff contests. While with the Admirals, the Drayton, ON native totaled 17 points on seven goals and ten assists in 48 games. He tied for the Ads rookie lead in scoring in 2008-09 with 35 points (12g-23a) while playing in 79 games.
Laakso began the 2009-10 season with Nashville, playing in its first seven games before being assigned to the Admirals. In 46 games during his second North American season with the Admirals in 2009-10, the 6-1, 209-pound blueliner posted 13 points (4g-9a), seven of which came in his final 13 regular-season games after returning from injury. Laakso also ranked third among Milwaukee d-men in plus-minus rating (+12) in 2009-10, and played in all seven of the club’s 2010 Calder Cup Playoff games posting three points (1g-2a).
Pickard finished his first professional campaign last season with a 14-16-3 record, a .892 save percentage, a 2.85 goals against average and one shutout. The Winnipeg, MB native was selected as the Western Hockey League (WHL) Goaltender of the Year in 2008-09 after posting a 35-12-3 record, a 2.28 GAA and a .921 save percentage with the Tri-City Americans.
Wilson returns to North America after one season with EC Red Bull Salzburg, which he helped win the Erste Bank Liga (Austria) title in 2009-10. The Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., native led the Austrian League in penalty minutes (265) while amassing 40 points (16g-33a) in 70 games a season ago. Prior to his season abroad, Wilson spent three campaigns with Milwaukee, leading the Admirals in penalty minutes in all three seasons (2006-09). In 2008-09, the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., native was one of just four AHLers to post at least 30 points (15g-17a-32pts) and 150 penalty minutes (160), and in 2006-07, he led all AHL rookies in penalty minutes (215).
Palin has spent the past five seasons with the Calgary Flames’ American Hockey League affiliates in Omaha (2005-07), Quad City (2007-09) and Abbotsford (2009-10), posting 43 points (6g-37a) and 242 penalty minutes in 287 contests. The Abbotsford Flames’ captain for its inaugural season in 2009-10, Palin was limited to 21 games due to injury this past season, posting three assists and 17 penalty minutes. The 6-2, 203-pound blueliner was an AHL All-Star in 2008-09 when he racked up an AHL career high five goals and 15 points in 57 games.
Lewis split the 2009-10 season between the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves and Hershey Bears, and appeared in one postseason contest during the Bears’ run to the 2010 Calder Cup. The 6-3, 190-pound blueliner, who also played on the Wolves’ 2008 Calder Cup-winning team, has posted 44 points (3g-41a) and 145 penalty minutes in 133 AHL contests since turning pro in 2007. He has also appeared in one NHL game with the Thrashers on March 3, 2009 vs. Florida.
Halischuk split the 2009-10 season between New Jersey and Albany (AHL), posting a pair of points (1g-1a) in 20 NHL games and 22 points (11g-11a) in 32 AHL contests. In his rookie professional season of 2008-09 the Toronto, Ont., native amassed 29 points (14g-15a) in 47 games for Lowell, and also made his NHL debut with the Devils, notching one assist. The 5-11, 172-pound right wing scored the game-winning goal in overtime in the Gold Medal Game of the 2008 World Junior Championships, lifting Canada past Sweden, 3-2.
Klasen tied for fifth in the Swedish Elite League in points (51) and ranked ninth in goals (19) in 51 games during his third season playing at Sweden’s highest level. In 2008-09, the 5-8, 175-pound left wing led his club in goals and ranked second in points (29), and in 2007-08, he was a finalist for Rookie of the Year after leading Sodertalje in points (34) and assists (20). In 156 Swedish League games, he has 114 points (47g-67a).
The Admirals will kick off the 2010-11 season by hosting the Abbotsford Heat on Saturday, October 9 at 7:00 pm at the Bradley Center. Fans can purchase tickets for every game by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or logging on to milwaukeeadmirals.com. Season tickets for the 10-11 campaign are still on sale, starting at just $145. For more information or to purchase season tickets fans can call the Admirals office at (414) 227-0550 or visit milwaukeeadmirals.com. Don’t forget to follow the Admirals on Twitter (@mkeadmirals) and on Facebook!