It’s now September and teams are still filling out their organization depth charts as they wait on the restricted free agent market to heat up. With moves being made daily in the minor, professional, collegiate and European leagues, we’ll keep track of all the notable ones right here. Check back often for an updated list:
- Former NHL forward Jim Slater has announced his retirement, ending his playing career after four successful seasons in Switzerland. The 36-year old was originally selected in the first round by the Atlanta Thrashers back in 2002 and played 584 games over his NHL career. Slater is set to join Michigan State University as an assistant coach for the upcoming season, returning to the place he made a name for himself as a Hobey Baker finalist in 2004.
- Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick Kalle Loponen has decided to bring his talents to North America, signing with the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL for the 2019-20 season. Loponen was picked in the seventh round earlier this year but will get a much bigger opportunity in Sudbury than he would have in Finland. The 18-year old does not have an NHL contract at this point, but it will be much easier for the Maple Leafs’ brass to get an in-person look at his potential.
- Boston University grad Max Willman has found a home to begin his pro career. The former Brown University standout has signed a one-year deal with the ECHL’s Reading Royals, the team announced. A fifth-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 2014, Willman is an athletic and intelligent player. He totaled 51 points in 135 NCAA games, including one near point-per-game campaign at Brown, and should be able to translate his ability easily to the pros.
- Cross-town rival Lincoln Griffin of Northeastern University has also signed in the ECHL. He is set to join the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on a one-year contract, the team announced. Griffin is fresh off of a season in which he was a top-six scoring forward for a Huskies program that was a national contender. The speedy winger will look to take another step forward in his jump to the pro ranks.