After releasing our (partial) list of prominent NCAA free agents yesterday, Bob McKenzie of TSN has released his own today. While we looked at just the defensemen, McKenzie covers all the top prizes including Zach Aston-Reese and Gavin Bayreuther, both of whom are expected to sign within the next 48 hours. McKenzie lists Pittsburgh, Edmonton, Vancouver, San Jose, Los Angeles and Detroit among the suitors for Aston-Reese, who we learned was being pursued by as many as fifteen teams last week. McKenzie connects Buffalo, Dallas, New Jersey and Colorado to Bayreuther, a offensive defenseman who still lacks consistency in his own end.
McKenzie told us earlier today that Daniel Brickley would be heading back to Minnesota State next season, meaning that Bayreuther and the other top defensemen might be in even more demand. The insider has a ton of great information on the immediate future for several drafted prospects playing in college, like Adam Gaudette (Vancouver) and Luke Kunin (Minnesota). As teams continue to get eliminated from tournament contention, decisions will come quickly on their players. NHL clubs want to get them into their systems as soon as possible to help at the professional level.
- The Buffalo Sabres have recalled Hudson Fasching from the AHL for the latest chapter in a very tumultuous season thus far. Fasching, a NCAA standout of his own last season, has played just six games with the Sabres this season. Still looking for his first point of the year in the NHL, Fasching has battled a groin injury all season. It has kept him out for months at a time, as he has just 31 combined games under his belt this season. The powerful winger out of the University of Minnesota made his NHL debut last spring after signing, and was expected to contribute more this year to a young Sabres squad. Hopefully now he’ll get into the swing of the NHL, and after another lost season from the Sabres lock down a role next fall.
- It was a crazy first half of the season for Dougie Hamilton, as trade rumors swirled despite being repeatedly shot down by the Calgary Flames front office. As Eric Francis of Sportsnet writes, with that behind him Hamilton has turned into the elite defenseman the Flames had hoped for when they acquired him from the Bruins. The Flames have won nine straight games, and a big part of that should be placed at the feet of the 6’6″ defender. Still just 23-years old, Hamilton set a new career high this weekend in points and looks like he could challenge one day for a Norris trophy. Calgary has their sights set on the Anaheim and second place in the Pacific Division, as with a win tonight against Pittsburgh they could overtake the Ducks with just 13 games to go.