Eeli Tolvanen, the Nashville Predators’ first-round pick from the recent draft, has signed on with Jokerit of the KHL for the 2017-18 season. The deal also includes an option for 2018-19, and will provide a landing spot for Tolvanen after his earlier issues. The Finnish winger was planning on staying in North America and joining Boston College, but failed to meet their admissions standards and was rejected.
Instead, Tolvanen will play in the KHL for at least a year before deciding where next to spend his professional career. The undersized winger spent two years in the USHL, where he put up 54 points in 52 games last season for the Sioux City Musketeers. Nashville selected him with the 30th-overall pick.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed Matthew Peca to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650K at the NHL level. Peca made his NHL debut last season and spent ten games with the Lightning, scoring two points. The undersized forward had another big season with the Syracuse Crunch, and should be expected to spend the majority of 2017-18 in the AHL once again.
- The Arizona Coyotes signed Michael Latta yesterday to a similar one-year, two-way contract. Latta split last year between the Ontario Reign and Rockford IceHogs, scoring 22 points. Traded mid-season for Cameron Schilling, Latta will now try a new organization for the time being. Never able to quite duplicate the offensive prowess he showed for the Guelph Storm before being selected in the third round, Latta is now AHL depth for the Coyotes.
- Montreal has announced several front office changes, hiring Franvis Bouillon as a development coach, and moving Rob Ramage to Director of Player Development. Ramage will be replacing Martin Lapointe, who has been promoted to Director of Player Personnel, while Vincent Riendeau has moved from Assistant General Manager of the AHL team to Director of Goalie Development and pro scout.