After an extremely up and down season the Mallards find themselves in a new division in 2015-16 and with a very different roster.
2014-15 Regular Season Record: 37-28-4 (81 pts) — 3rd place in the Central Division
2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs Result: Lost in 1st round 4-3 to Rapid City Rush
Key Additions: The Mallards added veteran Vladimir Nikiforov. The speedy forward played in Europe last year after scoring 14 goals with 31 assists in 2013-14 with the Mallards. Olivier Archambault was acquired from the Alaska Aces. He’s just 22 and entering his second season after putting up 38 points in 38 ECHL games in his rookie season. Goalie Adam Morrison was signed. Last season he backed up Jeff Jakaitis for the Stingrays, putting up a record of 15-5-2 and a save % of .928 in 23 games.
Key Loss: Mario Lamoureux signed with the Esbjerg Energy in Denmark. Mario Lamoureux led the team in points (71) and assists (51) last season. He was also reliable, appearing in 68 games. His presence was clearly missed in the playoffs when the Mallards went 2-1 in the games he played and 1-3 in the games he didn’t.
What to Watch For: The Mallards have 6 players assigned to them from both parent club Iowa Wild and the Chicago Wolves. The players are Raphael Bussieres, Alex Gudbranson, Olivier Archambault, Steve Michalek, Ryan Tesink, and Niklas Lundstrom. With only 2 veterans signed how the team adjusts when these players are called up will have a big impact on their season.