Even though the Stanley Cup Final and draft preparation is taking up most of the hockey world at the moment, there are things still happening behind the scenes and in the minor leagues. As always, we’ll keep track of the happenings in the AHL and other leagues around the world right here:
- The Toronto Marlies have signed Riley Woods to a one-year AHL contract, giving the WHL forward a place to play next season. Woods finished his junior career this season with the Spokane Chiefs, recording 75 points in 65 regular season games and being named a second team All-Star. The Maple Leafs have built quite the development system in Toronto, and have now started bringing in late-blooming CHL stars to try and shore up their ranks in the minor leagues.
- CapFriendly confirmed today that the New York Rangers have also lost the draft rights to Patrik Virta, their seventh-round pick from 2017, because they didn’t sign him by June 1. There was some confusion of Virta due to the fact that he played in the KHL for part of the 2018-19 season—which has no transfer agreement and therefor would have extended the rights indefinitely—but given his transfer to the SHL they have indeed expired. Virta was a top scorer in the Finnish league in 2017-18 but struggled in the KHL and Sweden this season. He is an unrestricted free agent now, and can sign with anyone.
- Curtis McKenzie received 27 minutes of penalties at the end of game two of the Calder Cup Final, and will now see even more discipline. The Chicago Wolves forward has been suspended for game three after attacking a prone Steven Lortenz with 0.8 seconds left in the game. McKenzie has now amassed 51 penalty minutes in 19 playoff games for the Wolves, after leading them with 112 in the regular season. If that makes you think he’s only out there to fight you’d be wrong, as the former Dallas Stars forward also recorded 54 points in the regular season and has another 14 in the postseason. His loss is a big blow to Chicago after the series was tied 1-1.