As is often the case, Saturday is a busy day on the schedule with 24 teams in action which means there should be plenty of roster movement throughout the day. We’ll keep track of those moves here.
- The Jets announced the recall of defenseman Sami Niku from AHL Manitoba. The 22-year-old has split the season between the NHL and AHL which has prevented him from really getting into a rhythm as of late. He has a dozen points in 20 games with the Moose plus a pair of assists in 11 contests with Winnipeg so far this season. With Joe Morrow suffering a lower-body injury that’s going to keep him out for two-to-three weeks, Niku, who has been part of trade speculation in recent weeks, may be in line for some more playing time. In a separate move, the team has also promoted blueliner Tucker Poolman from Manitoba. After playing 24 games with Winnipeg last year, he has yet to play with them this season while injuries have limited him to just 25 contests with the Moose.
- Dallas is giving a look to the top goal scorer in the AHL as center Joel L’Esperance has been brought up from Texas (AHL) per a team release. The 23-year-old is in his first full professional season and has already scored 27 goals in just 49 games. He signed with the Stars as an undrafted free agent last summer, a move that is certainly paying dividends already. This will be L’Esperance’s first look at the NHL level.
- The Islanders announced (Twitter link) that they have assigned winger Andrew Ladd and defenseman Thomas Hickey to Bridgeport of the AHL on conditioning stints. Ladd has been out for three months due to a leg injury while Hickey has been out of action with an upper-body issue for nearly two months. GM Lou Lamoriello told reporters, including Newsday’s Andrew Gross (Twitter links) that both players have been transferred to LTIR today and are pegged to play two games with the Sound Tigers before re-evaluating their progress.
- Defenseman Filip Hronek is back with the Red Wings after the team announced his promotion from AHL Grand Rapids. The 21-year-old has been quite productive in limited action at the minor league level, collecting 23 points in 28 games. He also has more than held his own with Detroit, logging over 18 minutes a night in 23 contests with the big club.
- Injuries on the back end for the Kings have provided an opportunity for Matt Roy to get a look with the big club as the team announced that he has been brought up from Ontario (AHL). Roy leads the Reign in scoring by a defenseman with 29 points in 45 games so far this season. His recall was required with Alec Martinez and Sean Walker are out with upper-body injuries.
- The Anaheim Ducks announced they have assigned winger Kevin Roy to the San Diego Gulls of the AHL. The 25-year-old has been on season-opening injured reserve after undergoing offseason wrist surgery. Roy played 25 games for the Ducks last season, putting up six goals and seven points. He will attempt to find his game after a long layoff with the Gulls, where he scored 14 goals and 37 points last season.
- The Philadelphia Flyers announced they have assigned forward Mikhail Vorobyev to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL. The 22-year-old was recalled for a second stint with the team on Jan. 28, but has failed to produce offensively. He hasn’t register a point in eight games since that call-up. He has just one goal and two points in 15 games total this season, while receiving just 9:20 of ATOI.
- Ed Willies of The Province reports that injured winger Jake Virtanen has been moved to injured reserve with an upper-body injury. Virtanen took a big hit from Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf Wednesday, missed Thursday’s game and had an MRI this morning, prompting the team to place him on IR. The team will use that open roster spot to put newly acquired forward Ryan Spooner on the ice. Head coach Travis Green said the injury is not concussion-related. He is expected to miss at least a week.
- The St. Louis Blues announced they have placed defenseman Carl Gunnarsson on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. The veteran defenseman has been out of the lineup since Feb. 5 and therefore can return whenever he is ready. The team has recalled forward Sammy Blais from the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL. Blais has played 24 games for the Blues, but has just two goals and three points in that time.