Norfolk, Va. — Norfolk Admirals Professional Hockey Club, proud affiliates of the Carolina Hurricanes and Chicago Wolves, announced on Tuesday night that forward Ryan Valentini has signed a standard player contract with the club for the 2022-23 season.
Valentini becomes the first Admiral to sign a contract with the team for the upcoming season.
The 24-year-old Mississauga, ON native returns to Norfolk after putting together one of the more notable finishes to the season for the Admirals. Valentini, who will turn 25 on July 13, started his 2021-22 campaign with the Rapid City Rush, where he posted a blazing 23 points in 21 games. He registered a point in his first four games and three of those contents were multi-point performances.
On February 16, the Rush traded Valentini to the Indy Fuel where he played in just five games and posted two points (1g, 1a).
On March 10, the Admirals acquired Valentini at the trade deadline, along with Joe Widmar and future considerations (later named Jared Thomas) from Indy in exchange for Chase Lang. One day later, Valentini scored on his first shift in an eventual 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Gladiators.
After that performance, Valentini asserted himself as one of the more potent offensive weapons for Norfolk. He finished the year with 18 points in 19 total games (12g, 6a). In the last six games of the season, Valentini had a point in each of those games for a total of 10 points (7g, 3a). Along with Widmar, they posted a combined 31 points in 38 games while Lang suited up in just eight games and had just three points with Indy.
"Ryan brings a level of excitement to the game with his sharp offensive skills," said Admirals General Manager and Head Coach Rod Taylor. "He really brings some dazzling plays and creates great scoring opportunities. I expect some great offensive punch when Ryan steps onto the ice."
Valentini spent four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League before turning pro in 2020-21. He posted 78 points in 130 games with the London Knights and Sudbury Wolves. In 2019-20, he suited up for the University of Guelph in USports and was named to the Second All-Star Team while also capturing a league championship. In his first season as a pro, Valentini played for Sterzing/Vipiteno in Italy. It didn't take long for him to get acquainted with the pro-style of play, as he was fourth on the team in points (10g, 22a).
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About Norfolk Admirals Professional Hockey
Norfolk Admirals Professional Hockey is a member of the ECHL, the premier Double-A hockey league, and brings affordable, family entertainment to Hampton Roads and play its home games at Scope Arena in Norfolk, striving to contribute to Norfolk’s rich regional impact of entertainment, culture, and the arts. The Admirals are affiliated with the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Carolina Hurricanes and American Hockey League’s (AHL) Chicago Wolves. The Admirals have won three Kelly Cups (1991, 1992, 1998). The club transitioned to the AHL in 2000 and won the Calder Cup in 2012 while capturing 28 consecutive wins—still the record for the longest active streak in AHL history. The team rejoined the ECHL in 2015. Blake Cullen founded the Hampton Roads Admirals in 1989. Visit www.norfolkadmirals.com for more information.
The City of Norfolk’s SevenVenues serves to link Norfolk’s residents, visitors, and tourists to Norfolk’s rich cultural arts and entertainment community. Besides providing entertainment services, the City of Norfolk’s Department of Cultural Facilities, Arts and Entertainment is also responsible for the maintenance, repair, management, and operation of the City’s seven public assembly facilities which include: Scope Arena, Chrysler Hall, the Attucks Theatre, the Wells Theatre, Harrison Opera House, Harbor Park, and Open Air Events. To learn more, visit SevenVenues.com.