There are a handful of experienced NHL veterans still out on the market, with one being 35-year-old Tyler Bozak. The 2019 Stanley Cup champion is still one of the best faceoff men in the league and is a legitimate option down the middle of the ice. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports that clubs expect Bozak to make a final decision in the next few days, and wonders if the Pittsburgh Penguins may be one of them given the injuries to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Bozak actually ranked 35th on our list of the Top 50 Unrestricted free agents, but we still expected him to get just a one-year deal at his age. While he may not be the fleetest of foot, there are still valuable attributes that can help a team win if deployed properly.
- Ryan Kesler, who is still technically an active NHL player given his contract with the Anaheim Ducks won’t expire until the end of 2021-22, has accepted a role with the U.S. National Team Development Program. The veteran forward will serve as a volunteer assistant coach with the U18 group and can share his experience of more than 1,000 games in the NHL. Kesler’s contract, which carries a $6.875MM cap hit, will once again be moved to long-term injured reserve if the Ducks end up needing cap space.
- Prospect camps are opening across the league, and Scott Wheeler of The Athletic notes that Peter Reynolds, his highest-ranked undrafted player, will be in attendance with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Wheeler had Reynolds ranked as his 71st best prospect in this year’s draft after a strong rookie season in the QMJHL, but he was passed over entirely. NHL Central Scouting had the undersized forward ranked 80th among North American skaters.