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‘THIS IS WHERE I WANT TO BE’
After a whirlwind summer, Ronan Seeley believes he is back where he belongs.
The 21-year-old defenseman played in 70 games with the Wolves last season but opened the 2023-24 campaign with Norfolk of the ECHL after Chicago split with NHL affiliate Carolina this summer.
Then, suddenly, Seeley was back in Chicago after the Hurricanes reassigned him and fellow blue liners Griffin Mendel and Domenick Fensore to the Wolves on Nov. 11.
“It was obviously a crazy summer—I wasn’t sure where I was going to end up,” Seeley said. “I’m just very thankful and feel blessed to be back here.
“This is where I want to be,” Seeley continued. “I feel like I developed a lot last year and I got better as a player so I’m looking to do the same thing this year so I can hopefully make the next jump.”
Despite the uncertainty of where he would play, Seeley said he didn’t let it affect him mentally.
“I try to stay on an even keel,” he said. “I’m not too emotional about it but obviously it adds a lot of stress not really knowing where you’re going to be. My girlfriend and family didn’t know where I was going to be so it was hard, for sure, but I worked through it.”
Seeley was a regular in the Wolves lineup last season and finished with four goals and 21 assists. He has appeared in two games with the Wolves in ’23-24 heading into this weekend’s games against the Gulls in San Diego.
A seventh-round (208th overall) selection by Carolina in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Seeley gave a reminder about his skills.
“I’m a 200-foot defenseman,” Seeley said. “I defend well and I skate well so I try and add offense when and where I can but I’m a very consistent D-man. That’s what you’re going to see from me.”
PRAISE FOR SAN DIEGO
The Wolves will be in some unfamiliar territory this weekend.
For the first time since the 2017-18 campaign, the Wolves will travel to San Diego to face the Gulls in regular-season contests Friday and Saturday night, respectively.
In ’17-18, the teams split a pair of games with each winning at home. The last time the Wolves faced the Gulls in San Diego in a regular-season showdown, they fell 2-1 on Jan. 10, 2018. Chicago and San Diego also met in the 2019 Western Conference finals (won by the Wolves 4-2).
Two Wolves veterans are familiar with playing in San Diego and have high praise for the Southern California hockey community.
“It’s one of the best crowds in the American Hockey League,” said Wolves forward Max Comtois, who played in San Diego for parts of two seasons from 2018-20. “They show up for their team and they’re pretty loud. It’s always a pretty fun building to play in. It’s kind of outdated but it’s pretty nice to play there. I have a lot of connections down there so it will be a fun weekend, for sure.”
The weekend games will be even more special for Rocco Grimaldi, who was born in Southern California and played 54 games with the Gulls last season before finishing ’22-23 with the Rockford IceHogs.
“It’s a great fan community in San Diego,” Grimaldi said. “We were having a really tough year last year and late in the year when we knew we weren’t going to make the playoffs they were still drawing 6,000-8,000 people.
“They love hockey—they support that team through the thick and the thin,” Grimaldi added. “It’s a great place to play. Hopefully, they’ll have a lot of people in the building and it will be fun games.”
IMPACT PLAY OF THE WEEK
During the Wolves’ 5-1 victory over the Admirals on Saturday night in Milwaukee, forward Max Comtois scored this beauty to help seal the win.
REPUBLIC BANK SAVE OF THE WEEK
On Sunday at Allstate Arena, goaltender Adam Scheel sprawled out to stone the Admirals’ Tye Felhaber and keep the Wolves within striking distance.
C.D.E. COLLISION CENTERS’ COLLISION OF THE WEEK
Wolves forward Dominic Franco sent Milwaukee’s Zach L’Heureux to the ice with a big hit during Sunday’s contest at Allstate Arena.
Weekly rewind (1-1-0-0)
SATURDAY, NOV. 18
Wolves 5, Admirals 1: Cole Schneider had a goal and an assist while Peter Abbandonato, Max Comtois, Vasily Ponomarev and Isaac Ratcliffe each scored.
SUNDAY, NOV. 19
Admirals 2, Wolves 1: Ryan Wagner scored for the Wolves but it wasn’t enough as the Admirals skated to the victory to split the back-to-back games.
First Star of the Week
Where we stand
3-8-1-1, seventh in the Central Division.
|Friday, Nov. 24
|at San Diego
|Saturday, Nov. 25
|at San Diego
|Wednesday, Nov. 29
|at Grand Rapids
|Van Andel Arena
|Saturday, Dec. 2
|vs. San Diego
|Sunday, Dec. 3
|vs. San Diego
For information on Wolves ticket plans for the 2023-24 season — everything from single-game tickets to Flex Packs to group outings — visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.