ECHL: Norfolk Admirals Gear Up for 2023-2024 Season with Key Player Signings

Norfolk Admirals celebrate OT win.

So far this offseason, The Norfolk Admirals have made some significant moves, ensuring a promising roster for the upcoming 2023-2024 season by securing the talents of many skilled forwards, most remarkably, Denis Smirnov and Stepan Timofeyev.

Ice Cold Smirnoff or Red Hot Smirnov?

Denis Smirnov
Photo Credit: NHL Ratings

Russian forward Denis Smirnov, 25, returns to Norfolk after an impressive showing last season. Despite being sidelined due to injuries for parts of the campaign, Smirnov showcased his scoring prowess by tallying 21 points (9 G, 12 A) in just 39 games with the Admirals.

Smirnov’s performance was particularly noteworthy in the latter part of the season, where he recorded 15 points in the final 17 games, with seven goals and eight assists.

Admirals’ head coach Jeff Carr spoke highly of Smirnov’s growth throughout the season, mentioning that he is a 50-60 point forward if he can avoid injury. 

Prior to Smirnov’s time with the Admirals, Smirnov made a name for himself at Penn State University from 2016 to 2020, amassing an impressive 115 points (50 goals, 65 assists) in 137 career games with the Nittany Lions. Smirnov was a leader and a record-setter in his time at Penn State, and that talent caught the attention of the Colorado Avalanche, who drafted him in the sixth round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

What time is it? It’s TIMO TIME!

Stepan Timofeyev
Photo Credit: Facebook – Stepan Timofeyev

Joining Smirnov in the Admirals’ lineup is Stepan Timofeyev, a 27-year-old forward hailing from St. Petersburg, Russia. Timofeyev’s journey to Norfolk involved an impressive stint in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) with the Birmingham Bulls before being loaned to the Admirals during the 2022-2023 season.

Before his time with Norfolk, Timofeyev showcased his talent in the SPHL, playing for the Knoxville Ice Bears and Birmingham. His standout performance in the 2021-2022 season saw him amass 49 points (23 goals, 26 assists) in just 46 regular-season games.

During the 2022-23 season, Timofeyev made a strong impact registering 37 points (17 G, 20 A) in 43 games, making him the third-highest point-scorer for the club. Admirals’ head coach, Jeff Carr, also spoke on Timofeyev’s versatile and aggressive playing style, mentioning his “fearless and ferocious style of play.”

Dynamic Duo Fuel the Admirals’ Quest for Glory

Looking ahead to the upcoming season, the Admirals are excited about the potential impact of these two dynamic forwards. With Smirnov’s scoring ability and Timofeyev’s relentless style of play, the Admirals aim to be a force to be reckoned with. The anticipation is building in Norfolk as the 2023-2024 season approaches, and we’re all eager to rally behind the team as they hit the ice in pursuit of the Kelly Cup.

Sam Chacon

Sam Chacon is a Target Analyst serving the U.S. Air Force, and an aspiring writer for Inside the Rink covering the San Jose Sharks, Vegas Golden Knights, and the Norfolk Admirals

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