The last time that the Providence Bruins signed a standout player from a nearby university it worked out pretty well for the organization. Providence inked former Quinnipiac University defenseman Connor Clifton to an AHL deal in the 2017 after the Arizona Coyotes opted not to sign their draft selection. Clifton later earned an entry-level contract with strong play in his first pro season and is currently up with the Boston Bruins, having played in 15 games with the team this year while also leading all Providence defensemen in scoring. The P-Bruins have made a similar signing and all parties involved hope it ends up as well as Clifton’s did. The Providence Journal’s Mark Divver reports that Brown University captain Tommy Marchin has signed an AHL contract for next season with the team in the same city as his alma mater. It appears that he will suit up on an amateur tryout offer for the remainder of this season. Marchin, Brown’s Hobey Baker candidate this season, enjoyed a strong collegiate career outside of a sophomore slump, twice cracking 25 points in a season. At 6’3″, 216 lbs., Marchin is a power winger with good offensive instincts who should be able to contribute immediately for the P-Bruins. Perhaps he too will earn his way to Boston as well someday.
- Many were surprised when highly-touted WHL goaltender Zach Sawchenko went undrafted year after year from 2015-2017 despite starting nearly every game for the Moose Jaw Warriors and leading a Canadian World Junior entry during that time and routinely displaying great athleticism. Sawchenko finally opted to go to college and has played the past two seasons for the University of Alberta, putting up stellar numbers. While not the usual route, that decision has led Sawchenko to finally reaching his dream of playing pro hockey. The San Jose Barracuda have signed the 21-year-old keeper to a two-year AHL deal, his university team has announced. Sawchenko could be in line for immediate play time next season, as current tandem Antoine Bibeau and Josef Korenar have evenly split starts this year, but neither has stood out. The situation is open for Sawchenko to assert himself as a starting option with consistent play. And with struggles in net for the San Jose Sharks as well, this is an ideal opportunity for Sawchenko to show he can be an NHL option one day.
- Boston College seniors are a hot ticket item right now, as Joseph Woll and Casey Fitzgerald have signed NHL contracts this week and now two veteran leaders have inked AHL deals. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have added both forward Chris Brown and defenseman Michael Kim to their roster for the remainder of the season, the team announced, bringing in a pair of respected and experienced Eagles. Brown is the more interesting addition, as he was a draft pick not of Pittsburgh but of Buffalo back in 2014 and is technically Sabres property until August. Yet, logic would dictate that if Brown and Buffalo were considering an entry-level deal, he would be joining the AHL’s Rochester Americans. His move to the WBS Penguins would indicate that Brown will be a free agent later this summer. The 23-year-old center is a capable two-way forward who has a limited offensive ceiling but could still be a role player at the pro level. As for Kim, the 23-year-old Toronto native has been consistently productive from the blue line over the past few years and plays a solid possession game. Although he went undrafted, Kim is well-regarded and should land an AHL contract at the very least heading into next season.