Norfolk Admirals 2013-14 Preview: Key Additions

Steven Whitney (#21) after winning the NCAA National Championship in 2010 - Elsa

Norfolk fans are starting to realize the genius of David McNabb signing college UFAs.

Charlie Sarault - Center

Where did he come from? After leading the OHL in assists two season in a row the undrafted rookie was signed by Anaheim to a 3 year entry level contract. In his final two seasons in the OHL he had 153 assists.

What is expected? In his limited play in the 11 games for the Admirals last season on his amateur tryout contract Sarault had 6 assists and played the top center role on almost every power play in every game. He is projected to possibly be a top 6 NHL forward and could definitely bring a scoring touch to a Norfolk team that sometimes struggled to score even strength points but also had one of the worst power plays in the league. Depending on the final roster Norfolk gets I would like to see him as a 2C if Holland is down as the 1C.

Nolan Yonkman - Defense

Where did he come from? Last season he played for the San Antonio Rampage and the Florida Panthers for 7 games.

What did we give up for him? Nothing, he was an unrestricted free agent.

What is expected? At 32 years old he will probably the oldest Admirals this season but he also brings a ton of leadership and a physical defensive style with him. He has been the captain a few times and has had over 100 PIMs 6 times in 12 seasons. Definitely don't expect a lot of points from him though!

Kevin Gagne - Defense

Where did he come from? He played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for 5 seasons, all with the St. John Sea Dogs.

What did we give up for him? He is another undrafted free agent that was signed to a 3 year entry level contract.

What is expected? With his impressive amount of awards, 2 time QMJHL champ, Memorial Cup Winner, 2013 QMJHL Defenseman of the Year, 2013 First All-Star Team, I am hoping that he can make an impact pretty quickly on both ends of the ice. His size isn't that good for a defenseman, 5'8, but he seems to have the right pedigree to succeed.

Andrew O'Brien - Defense

Where did he come from? Another player from the QMJHL where he had 241 PIMs in 190 games played.

What did we give up for him? Nothing, he was drafted in the 4th round in 2012.

What is expected? I am hoping for a rookie starting off his pro career with a physical season and some responsible play in his own end, just keep it simple.

Steven Whitney - Center

Where did he come from? He is a graduate of Boston College where he won the National Championship twice and last season won the Walter Brown Award for being the best American born player in New England.

What did we give up for him? Another rookie free agent signing that the Ducks found.

What is expected? In 8 games last season for Norfolk he had 3 goals and an assist and was impressive. Like Sarault he is also pretty skilled on the PP, something the Admirals and Ducks both need to work on in the upcoming season. Hockey's Future points out that Whitney's size and style could make it tough to succeed at the pro level, but it's not unprecedented. Cory Conacher is smaller player that is physical along the boards and has had decent success at the AHL and NHL levels.

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