The first day of July is usually the busiest transaction day of the NHL year. For the second straight year, that won’t be the case today. Fortunately, the calendar has finally flipped to the month when free agency will open, not to mention the Expansion Draft and Entry Draft will take place and the trade market will certainly begin to flourish. For now though, transactions of the minor variety will continue to occur as players that are not looking at NHL opportunities for next season make their decisions.
- The Lehigh Valley Phantoms are bringing captain Cal O’Reilly back for another go-round. The Philadelphia Flyers’ AHL affiliate has announced a one-year extension for O’Reilly, who took over as captain last season and led the team in scoring. This will be O’Reilly’s 16th pro season, as he has previously played in over 750 AHL games, 145 NHL games with Nashville, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Minnesota, and spent a pair of seasons in the KHL as well.
- The AHL’s Laval Rocket have made an addition of their own, announcing the signing of Quebec-born defenseman Carl Neill to a one-year, two-way contract. Neill, an unsigned Vancouver Canucks draft pick, ended up playing college hockey in Canada and spent his first pro season this year in Denmark with the Aalborg Pirates. It is an unusual path to the pro level in North America, but he made the most of it with strong blue line production.
- The Rocket have also lost a Quebecois from their roster, as veteran forward Yannick Veilleux has signed his first European contract. The 28-year-old former St. Louis Blues prospect has been an AHL fixture for eight years, the past two with Laval, but is making the jump to Germany’s DEL. Eisbaren Berlin has announced a one-year deal with Veilleux, who they see as a key piece to their offense and checking game. Veilleux will join another Quebec native and former Laval Rocket Simon Despres on the Polar Bears’ roster.
- The OHL’s Owen Sound Attack have worked quickly to sign a recent CHL Import Draft selection. The Sound have announced that 16-year-old first-round pick Servac Petrovsky has opted to join the team. Though relatively unknown at this point, Petrovsky has been dominant in the Czech and Slovak junior ranks and his name will become more well-known as his draft year approaches, especially if his ability translates to the North American game.
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