Between a long-term extension for Leon Draisaitl in Edmonton, a return to Minnesota for Matt Cullen, and a couple of contracts for first day-eligible college free agents Dominic Toninato and Connor Clifton, it’s been a relatively busy August day for NHL transactions. Yet, here is some more news from across the hockey world:
- The AHL’s Providence Bruins already made a splash today, signing the aforementioned Clifton, a standout right-handed defenseman from nearby Quinnipiac University, but another notable name has also joined the fold in Providence. The Providence Journal’s Mark Divver, who also broke the Clifton news, revealed that NHL veteran Josh Hennessy has agreed to return to Providence on a PTO to begin the season. Hennessy has been playing for the Vaxjo Lakers in Sweden for much of the past three years and bounced around the KHL prior to that, but the 32-year-old was last in North America with the Boston Bruins and their affiliate in 2011-12. A 2003 second-round pick of the San Jose Sharks who has skated in 23 NHL games with the Bruins and Ottawa Senators, Hennessy clearly did not reach the expectations of his draft slot, but does have a history of high-scoring AHL campaigns. The P-Bruins had success with the PTO route last season, winding up with reliable veterans Peter Mueller and Matt Bartkowski, and hope that the local Massachusetts native can play well enough to crack a lineup that is chock full of talented Bruins prospects.
- Divver also made note of another move affecting Providence hockey, but the NCAA’s Providence College Friars rather than the AHL’s Bruins. The OHL’s Guelph Storm announced today that they have signed forward Cam Hillis, the team’s second-round pick in the 2016 OHL Draft. However, to join the Storm, Hillis had to break his commitment to play college hockey at PC. As Divver points out, Hillis is now the third Friars recruit this summer to instead choose the major junior route, joining Merrick Rippon (Mississagua Steelheads) and Sam Rhodes (Barrie Colts).
- Another player spurning the college game, but in Canada instead of the U.S., is former Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward Bobby MacIntyre. The undrafted overager registered 80 points in 63 games in his final OHL season and was one of the top targets of many Canadian universities. However, he will bypass the university path and go straight to the pros after an impressive campaign. Victor Findlay of the Canadian University Sports Network reports that MacIntyre has agreed to terms with the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters, the minor league affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets, on his first pro contract. MacIntyre could be an AHL rookie to watch for next season.
- Another AHL deal of note was that of Jake Marchment joining the San Antonio Rampage. The Colorado Avalanche affiliate announced the signing today, as well as an extension for Shawn St. Amant. Marchment comes over from the San Jose Sharks organization, where he was a sixth-round pick in 2014. The big two-way center saw only four games of AHL action last year with the San Jose Barracuda, instead mostly skating in the ECHL. He’ll look for a greater opportunity in San Antonio in 2017-18. Many will remember Marchment as a member of the talented 2014-15 and 2015-16 Erie Otters teams, who made it to the OHL Championship and Conference Finals respectively. Marchment was acquired from the Belleville Bulls in 2015 in part to help the team on their playoff run and also to make up for the impending loss of superstar Connor McDavid.