The Milwaukee Admirals (4-0-0-1) are the only team in the American Hockey League that has not lost in regulation. They are being led on offense by center Chris Mueller
(team-high six points) and right-winger Ryan Thang
(team-high four goals). In net, goaltender Jeremy Smith
continues to be solid; through four appearances, he has a 1.44 goals against average and a save percentage of .943.
"It's been a team effort," said Preds Assistant General Manager Paul Fenton. "although Ryan Thang
is off to a really good start and has been able to score on a consistent basis for Milwaukee. His line, with Chris Mueller
and Gabriel Bourque
, all three of them are playing well and blending together; giving us a boost there. Jeremy Smith
started out well in camp and has followed it through; he's giving us good goaltending here at the start of the season. Remember he was really good for us in the AHL playoffs last year, too. But as a team, we're getting efforts from everybody in Milwaukee."
Rookie Ryan Ellis
continues to turn heads as he transitions to the pro game. Ellis leads all Milwaukee defensemen in +/- rating (3) and has one assist in five games. "His speed and his transition to pro hockey has been right on schedule," Fenton said. "He's in more of a routine and he's really elevated his game with his puck skills."
After playing just five games the first three weeks of the season, the Admirals play three games in three days this weekend starting on Friday at Chicago.
Here’s a look at some other Predators prospects… Canadian Hockey League
D Charles-Olivier Roussel
(Saint John, CHL) leads the QMJHL in +/- rating (17). He also has nine points (three goals, six assists) in eight games. And he has three assists in his last three games. "At camp we just didn't think he was quite ready to make that pro transition yet; we were looking for that one more year here to put him into a postion to succeed when he does make the jump to pro. He was traded to a very solid team in Saint John; Gerard Gallant is a proven coach winning a Memorial Cup and bringing NHL background as a player and coach. I think that type of a coach only helps our cause with Charlie as we get him ready to be a pro player. With young kids, sometimes it takes time for them to grow into their bodies and I think he's learning that. We're starting to see the player we projected when we drafted him; we feel high that he'll be able to make that transition."NCAA
C Chase Balisy
(Western Michigan, CCHA) is tied for third in the CCHA in assists (five) and tied for fifth in conference points (eight). "Chase has just put points on the board immediately. Our scouts think his game has taken another step and that's what we were looking for him to do. Again, I think it's a benefit that his coach has been in the NHL, certainly the experience and the push that Chase will get from him is a benefit."
RW Zach Budish
(Univ. of Minnesota, WCHA) doubled his season output with a one goal, two assist performance on Friday vs. Vermont. On Sunday his screen was a key to Minnesota's first goal. "I was actually reading our scouting reports on Budish and our guys like how he's playing; his puck skills and his competitiveness have been very good. Now he's off to a good start and we're hoping the injuries are behind him; we feel he can go on and do the things we projected from him."
RW Cameron Reid
(St. Cloud State, WCHA) had back-to-back, one goal, one assist games against New Hampshire last weekend. European Prospect Scoring
D Simon Karlsson
(Malmo, Sweden Jr.) is tied for fourth in the Swedish Junior League (Sodra Conf.) in assists (11) and is second in points (13) among blueliners.
LW Linus Klasen
(Malmo (Sweden-2) is second in the Allsvenskan in points (18), and tied for third in goals (seven) and assists (11).
LW Miikka Salomaki
(Karpat, Finland) is tied for seventh in SM-Liiga goals (seven).