As the two surviving teams prepare for Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final tonight, the other 29 teams are busy preparing for the NHL Draft and the opening of free agency. Not only that, minor league affiliates, junior teams, college programs, and countless European clubs are getting ready for the 2020-21 season, as are the many players who still don’t know where they are playing next season. As a result, there are a number of minor moves being made every day:
- AHL veteran Ryan Olsen is on his way to Germany. The 26-year-old center has signed with the EC Kassel Huskies of the second-tier DEL2, the club has announced. Although Kassel is not among the elite clubs in Germany, it has attracted a fair amount of North American pros over the years, including James Wisniewski. Olsen, a Winnipeg Jets draft pick, has spent the past two seasons with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage. Olsen has been a useful player in the minors over the years, setting a career high with 34 points just two seasons ago, but has not been able to earn an NHL contract since his entry-level deal expired in 2017 and is ready for a fresh start.
- Rod Pelley, a name not heard in NHL circles in quite some time, has decided to call it a career. Ohio State University, where Pelley starred for four years, announced that their alum has officially retired. Pelley is best remembered for being a regular for the New Jersey Devils for six years after college. Even after he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in 2011-12, he returned to the Devils to captain AHL Albany for several more years once his contract expired. Pelley last played in North America for the AHL’s Stockton Heat in 2017-18 and has spent the past two seasons in Denmark and Romania respectively. He retires with over 250 NHL games and over 550 AHL games to his credit.
- Curtis Brown, who retired back in 2011, was back in the headlines recently with the news that his son, Garrett Brown, had committed to the University of Denver. This would be a major accomplishment for any young player, as the Pioneers are an elite NCAA program, but even more so for a California-grown product. In fact, it was the San Jose Jr. Sharks who initially announced the commitment for the standout. Curtis played his final season in the NHL with the San Jose Sharks in 2007-08, but returned to the area after three seasons of playing in Switzerland and Garrett has grown up in the area. Now 16, the younger Brown looks like he is developing the skill to challenge his dad, a long-time Buffalo Sabres star, and should be an interesting prospect to follow once he arrives at Denver in a few years.