Noah Hanifin has signed with the Calgary Flames, but we’re still waiting on news of the other dozen restricted free agents. While we wait, we’ll keep track of the minor moves around the hockey world.
- The Lehigh Valley Phantoms have signed Zach Palmquist, Nick Luukko and Branden Komm to AHL contracts for 2018-19. Palmquist especially will give the team some added firepower on the blue line after registering 34 points in 67 games last season for the Iowa Wild. The 27-year old was an undrafted free agent out of the Minnesota State University when he signed with the Minnesota Wild in 2015, and earned two more NHL contracts over the last few seasons. Still waiting for his NHL debut, he’ll have to prove that he once again deserves a big league deal next summer.
- Former Bowling Green standout Dan DeSalvo has found a new home in the AHL. The Cleveland Monsters, minor league affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets, announced a one-year deal with undersized, but explosive forward. DeSalvo has shown great offensive ability over the past three years between the AHL and ECHL. After close to a point-per-game pace with the ECHL’s Tulsa Oilers as well as on loan to the AHL’s Manitoba Moose in his first pro season in 2015-16, DeSalvo earned a regular role with Manitoba the next year and posted 40 points in 66 games. While that production slipped somewhat last year, with DeSalvo limited to just 44 games with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, the Monsters have clearly bought in to what he can offer up front. The 26-year-old forward is likely to bring positive returns for the team if put in the right position and given enough ice time.
- Joining DeSalvo in Cleveland for another year is also Miles Koules, who returns for his third season. After working his way through four different ECHL teams in his first two pro seasons, Koules finally found a fit when given a chance with the Monsters in 2016-17. The team has re-signed the winger for a second straight year after he registered 27 points in 68 games last season.
- The University of Massachusetts Minutemen are adding another weapon to their squad and about a week before classes begin no less. The team has announced that former St. Lawrence University forward Joel Pritchard has joined the program as a graduate transfer. Although Pritchard played only three seasons for the Saints, he completed his studies and recently graduated. He will be eligible to play immediately at UMass, where he will reunite with former coach Greg Carvel. Pritchard recorded 20+ points in each of his seasons at St. Lawrence and played a responsible two-way game. He will bring consistency and experience to a young UMass squad that hopes to surprise people in the Hockey East Conference this season.