With the regular season winding down and injuries plaguing both the Admirals and parent Predators rosters, it’s all hands on deck to get a spot in the AHL post-season. And by the term “all”, I mean “some”, because seriously, are there even enough players on the roster to fill the bench?
So maybe that was a bit dramatic, but one thing we can all agree on is that the Admirals are missing some of their key players. In just the past week or so alone, the Admirals have lost the following players:
Chris Mueller (C) – recalled by NSH
Victor Bartley (D) – recalled by NSH
Taylor Beck (RW) – recalled by NSH
Michael Latta (C) – recalled to be traded to WAS, now playing for Hershey
Austin Watson (C) – recalled by NSH
Daniel Bang (RW) – recalled by NSH
This doesn’t include the injuries that have also hit the Admirals roster. Forward Kevin Henderson and G Jeremy Smith are also out with injury. Oi.
Enter Zach Hamill… and Joonas Rask?
If you’re a Providence Bruins fan (which I’m guessing you are not, but hey, if you are, awesome!), you’ll know exactly who Zach Hamill is. He spent five seasons with the Bruins organization, including two trips to the post-season. This year, he’s played with both Hershey and San Antonio. He has played in 19 NHL games with the Boston Bruins, whom of which drafted him 8th overall in the 2007 NHL Draft, but didn’t earn call-ups during his stints with the Bears and Rampage.
And here’s something I didn’t think I’d ever say… we have ourselves a second Joonas! You can no longer yell ‘JOONAS’ in the locker room without accompanying it with a last name. This particular Joonas is a forward is the younger brother of NHL goaltender Tuukka Rask. Like Joonas #1, Joonas #2 is from Finland and hails from Finland’s SM-liiga. Rask has spent the 2012-2013 season with Jokerit, prior to which he played with Ilves (which brother Tuukka also played for). I feel like this has turned into a version of 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, because I could link Tuukka, who is the goaltender for the Boston Bruins, back to Hamill because… well… you get the idea.
I digress. Rask was picked #198 overall (round 7) by Nashville in the 2010 NHL Draft. According to his scouting report on eliteprospects.com:
Useful on the PP and PK? Like! Not very good physically? We’ll see about that…
Hamill is slated to wear #17 (Latta’s number… I guess it works, he did spend half the season with Hershey so in a weird way I’m fine with it), but alas, Joonas is numberless for the time being.
I’m excited to see the new additions to the roster, but I hope there is chemistry on the new lines. Hamill is on his third AHL team of the season, so I think he’ll adapt pretty quick. This, however, is Rask’s North American debut. Concerned? Yes. Interested? Definitely.