With six NHL playoff games a day suddenly on the docket, summer days are now filled with hockey. Yet, the qualifying round and round robin games are not the only news-makers in the hockey world. Here are some minor moves from across several levels, including an NHL loan, a pair of AHL extensions, and some NCAA commitments:
- With the delayed start to the season among North American leagues, there has been a rash of overseas loans among NHL prospects in recent weeks. Florida Panthers prospect Rodrigo Abols has now also joined that list. Abols, a late 2016 pick out of Latvia, is set to return to the SHL’s Orebro HK to begin next season, the team announced. Abols played in the AHL with the Springfield Thunderbirds this season, but previously played with Orebro for the two seasons prior. He will return to Sweden on a short-term loan for now that expires in mid-November, allowing for the young forward to compete in training camp and in the AHL if the Panthers so desire, but it would also not be a surprise to see the project player stay in the SHL for the year.
- The Ontario Reign, AHL affiliate of the L.A. Kings, have announced one-year extensions for forwards Blaine Byron and Jacob Doty. Byron, a former Pittsburgh Penguins prospect and a University of Maine standout, has been a force in the AHL through three pro seasons. Byron has recorded 72 points in 136 games, including a career-high 34 in 53 games this season. Acquired by Ontario from Springfield mid-season, Byron was one of the Reign’s best players down the stretch and could be in for a big 2020-21 season. Doty, a 27-year-old journeyman, made his return to the AHL this season but recorded just one point in 18 games for Ontario. However, he provides experience and work ethic for the young farm team.
- Harvard University has made headlines lately for losing players, both current and committed, due to the Ivy League’s ban on fall sports this year. However, they got some good news today in the form of a commitment from twin brothers with a well-known last name. Marek and Daniel Hejduk, the sons of career Colorado Avalanche star and Stanley Cup champ Milan Hejduk, each announced on Twitter today that they have committed to play at Harvard. While the 16-year-olds are still at least two seasons away from joining the Crimson, Marek is already slated to join the U.S. National Team Development Program next year and Daniel could follow. The pair seem likely to have some NHL Draft prospects by the time they are ready to move to the NCAA.
- As for another brother duo headed to the college ranks, 16-year-old defenseman Seamus Powell announced on Instagram that he will follow his brother Eamon Powell to Boston College. Eamon, a USNTDP graduate who is set to join the Eagles this coming season, is a 2020 NHL Draft prospect expected to be selected in the second or third round in November. Seamus, a comparable small, offensive defenseman, will join the USNTDP this coming season and will be draft eligible in 2022, when he is also expected to enroll at BC.