Hurricanes prospect Massimo Rizzo has de-committed from the University of North Dakota, notes Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald. The 216th pick in 2019 was slated to begin his NCAA career next season after a strong season with Coquitlam of the BCHL where he had 19 goals and 25 assists in 42 games after recovering from surgery. The Chicago Steel of the USHL hold his rights in that league and he has one year of eligibility remaining there which could be an option for next season. Alternatively, he could seek to commit to another school where there will likely be interest but as players start reporting soon for summer classes, that decision would need to be made quickly if he intends to go that route for next season.
Elsewhere in the Metropolitan Division:
- It doesn’t appear as if any members of the Blue Jackets will be opting out of their return, reports Brian Hedger of the Columbus Post-Dispatch (Twitter link). They will be taking on Toronto in one of the more intriguing matchups of the play-in round that pots one of the top offenses in the league against one of the top defensive squads. While the initial reports suggested the deadline to opt out could be as early as today, that has since been amended to allow for more time. Players will now have until three days after CBA ratification to inform their team if they’re not going to participate and there will be no penalties if someone does so.
- The Penguins have added some minor league depth as their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton announced that they’ve signed wingers Zach Nastasiuk and Nick Schilkey to one-year deals. Nastasiuk, a former Detroit second-round pick, spent last season on an AHL deal with the Blues while Schilkey did the same with the Islanders. The pair will be reunited with head coach Mike Vellucci who coached both in Carolina’s system in 2018-19 where they won the Calder Cup.