The early roster shuffling on this Sunday morning continues with the Nashville Predators, who announced they’ve re-assigned defensemen Kevin Gravel and Roland McKeown to the Milwaukee Admirals, their AHL affiliate. Both players had been recalled on an emergency basis on December 12th. No corresponding move was announced, but with Jeremy Lauzon’s return last night, Nashville did have flexibility to send a defenseman down.
Gravel, 30, certainly didn’t go unused during his stint with Nashville. The defenseman made his Predators debut, getting into four games this week, averaging 14:38 while dishing out seven hits and blocking six shots. These games represented Gravel’s first NHL action since he appeared in three with the Toronto Maple Leafs back in 2019-20. A fifth-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2010, the St. Cloud State alum has spent the bulk of his NHL career to date with the Kings (70 games) and the Edmonton Oilers (36 games).
A fellow Kings draft pick, McKeown, 26, also made his Predators debut this week, getting into three games, averaging 14:33 over that time. A longtime AHL veteran, this was McKeown’s first appearance in the NHL since his only other stint: 10 games with the Carolina Hurricanes back in 2017-18. In the time since, the defenseman has appeared with the Charlotte Checkers, Colorado Eagles, and the Admirals in the AHL, as well as 24 games with Skelleftea AIK in the SHL during the 2019-20 season. Through 22 games for Milwaukee this season, McKeown has eight points along with a very healthy +12 rating.