The playoffs rage on with the Vegas Golden Knights facing elimination this evening. The Cinderella run by the Montreal Canadiens continues, this time with a chance to punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals. While most of the eyes will be focused on the Bell Centre, there’s still plenty more happening around the hockey world. We’ll keep track of the day’s notable minor transactions right here.
- Vincent LoVerde, a two-time Calder Cup winner and minor league veteran will take his talents overseas for next season. The 32-year-old defenseman has signed with EC Salzburg in the Austrian ICEHL for the 2021-22 season. LoVerde took home the Calder with Manchester in 2015 and again with Toronto in 2018, but recorded just three points in 23 games as captain of the Hartford Wolf Pack this year. The undrafted defenseman never did play in an NHL game during his time in North America.
- Dmitry Sokolov, who has spent the last few seasons with the Iowa Wild, is headed back to Russia. The 23-year-old winger was a seventh-round pick by the Minnesota Wild in 2016 but never played a game for them, instead spending his entire career thus far in the minor leagues. Now he has inked a deal with Omskie Krylia of the VHL for next season, meaning in order for the Wild to retain his rights, they’ll just need to extend him a qualifying offer. In 14 games for Iowa this season, Sokolov scored three goals and recorded four points.
- Among the group of players extended by the AHL’s Ontario Reign today was Adam Johnson, who arrived late in the season under strange circumstances but appears to have found a fit in SoCal. After three seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Johnson had been playing in Sweden this season with the SHL’s Malmo Redhawks. He then left abruptly just before the NHL trade deadline, leaving Malmo without one of its best players with the playoffs approaching, leading many to assume he had an NHL contract lined up. Instead, Johnson joined Ontario and will now stick around for another year in the AHL. Long-time captain Brett Sutter and journeyman grinder Jacob Doty were also re-signed, all to one-year contracts.
- 2021 NHL Draft prospect Hugo Gabrielson is changing teams and moving up. After years spent developing at the junior level for Frolunda, Gabrielson has signed his first pro contract, joining Vasterviks IK of Sweden’s second-tier Allsvenskan on a one-year deal. The mobile blue liner is expected to fall in the third or fourth round next month.