Teams all over the league are starting to hand out professional tryouts, with Jyrki Jokipakka being the latest with the Washington Capitals. Every year we see some veteran players looking for one last chance, and AHL tweeners trying to claw their way into the NHL. Many of the names that have been given PTOs already won’t play in the NHL this season, and some of them may not play professional hockey at all.
Still, there are almost always a few that earn themselves an NHL contract either with the team whose camp they’re attending, or somewhere else around the league. Kris Versteeg parlayed a PTO with the Edmonton Oilers into a contract with the Calgary Flames last year, and was important enough that he warranted an extension this summer.
17 tryouts have officially been handed out up to this point, with some interesting names among them. Players like David Booth and Ryan Malone have had a lot of success at the NHL level but have been away for several years, while others like Chris Lee are trying to prove that they’ve been overlooked for some time. Who do you think is the most likely to earn a contract at the end of training camp? You can select as many players as you want from the list of names, and leave a comment if you think they’ll sign somewhere else around the league.
[Mobile users click here to vote!]
I like Eric Gelinas’ chances of making the Habs. His skill set as a puck mover should give him an advantage though his primary competition are already signed to NHL contracts(Joe Morrow and Jakub Jerabek).
The only other players I see as having better odds of cracking NHL rosters as PTO’s are Jimmy Hayes, Brandon Pirri and Jay McClemment. Of those 3, I give Pirri the best odds since he seems to have less hurdles to jump over and the Panthers have a clear need for an offensive player to replace Marchessault.
I went with Cowen since Cols D is so terrible, but I actually think a number of these guys have an Ok chance. All depends on how the kids they are competing with do and if the brass want them getting bottom end minutes in most cases.