The Nashville Predators American Hockey League affiliate, Milwaukee Admirals were swept in round one of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Looking back on what was a successful season for Milwaukee, a few of the Preds prospects emerged with strong performances this season.
Nashville’s 2007 second round draft pick Jeremy Smith had a solid season between the pipes for Milwaukee. The 23 year old made 56 appearances for the Admirals and went 31-19-2, while compiling a 2.17 goals against average and a .922 save percentage. The native of Dearborn, Michigan now has 3 seasons under his belt as a pro. Smith spent parts of five seasons with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League before finishing his junior career with the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs. Smith has improved each season of his professional career and looks to be an NHL ready talent in the near future.
Another Preds Prospect, Chris Mueller led the team in scoring during the regular season with 32 goals and 28 assists for 60 points in 73 games played. Mueller also spent four games with Nashville this season and was held off the score sheet. Mueller (26) spent four seasons with Michigan State University and was part of their National Championship in 2007. Mueller has 19 games of NHL experience and has been a big part of the Admirals success the last 3 seasons.
The Predators third round pick from 2009, Taylor Beck had a strong season with Milwaukee. The 20 year old finished his first full professional season with 16 goals and 24 assists for 40 points. Beck spent four seasons with the OHL’s Guelph Storm and broke the 90 point mark in each of his final two seasons. The native of St. Catherines, Ontario finished his junior career with 267 points in 246 games.
Other Pedators Prospects who had strong seasons with Milwaukee included 2009 third round selection Michael Latta who finished the season with 14 goals and 13 assists for 27 points, 2007 third round pick Ryan Thang who finished with 18 goals and 20 assists for 38 points, and 24 year old defensemen Victor Bartley who finished with 9 goals and 30 assists for 39 points. Some other prospects who had seasons worthy of recognition were defensemen Jonathon Blum, right wing Ryan Flynn, and 2007 draft pick, goaltender Atte Engren who finished his first full season in North America with eight wins.
As the Predators make a run at the Stanley Cup, fans in Nashville should be excited about their prospects performances in Milwaukee which are showing the way for what seems to be a bright future of talent in Music City.