By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
Former General and Memorial Cup champion Ken Appleby is taking his talents to the Cream City.
The goaltender recently signed an American Hockey League contract with the Milwaukee Admirals, the minor league affiliate of the Nashville Predators.
Appleby is the goalie who led the Gens to their last Memorial Cup win in 2015. He held a record of 38-7-4 with a GAA of 2.08 and save percentage of .924 during the 2014-15 season.
Now 24-years-old, the North Bay native has yet to see any NHL action, but according to Generals vice president and general manager Roger Hunt, it’s not too late.
“Goalies can take a longer path,” says Hunt. “They can take a different path than a player, but as long as he’s playing and he’s playing at that level… I think he’s on course… Some goalies don’t make it until they’re 30.”
One example Hunt gives is Jordan Binnington, who recently won the Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues.
At the end of the season, Binnington was 25 years old, a year older than Appleby is now.
Hunt looks back at Appleby’s time in Oshawa fondly, noting he was a leader both on and off the ice.
“He was an intense guy actually,” says Hunt. “Our team that won, he was really one of the leaders. He was very well respected and everything else. I guess if your goalie is one of your hardest working guys and one of your leaders, then everyone follows.”
Hunt explains Appleby was no different than the other leaders on the team. He would come to the bench during timeouts, and held other players accountable.
“If I had to bet on any goalie making it, Kenny would be a guy I would certainly back,” says Hunt.
Appleby will compete with Connor Ingram for the backup position with the Admirals.
“What he’s going through now is just preparing him for what’s next,” says Hunt.