When drafting a player out of North America or any European country with a transfer agreement, a team acquires their exclusive negotiating rights for a set amount of time. Each year on June 1, a long list of players see those rights expire and become unrestricted free agents (or choose to re-enter the draft, depending on specific circumstances). This year, even though many other NHL deadlines have been shifted, June 1 will still act as the threshold for expiring draft rights.
Some of the prospects that were previously on this list have signed, and are no longer listed. The rest are all to be considered unsigned, barring any late announcements from clubs.
Linus Lindstrand Cronholm (117th overall, 2018)
Miska Kukkonen (125th overall, 2018)
William Worge Kreu (187th overall, 2018)
Ryan Francis (143rd overall, 2020)
Lenni Killinen (104th overall, 2018)
Niklas Nordgren (74th overall, 2018)
Chad Yetman (172nd overall, 2020)
Nils Aman (167th overall, 2020)
Columbus Blue Jackets:
Marcus Karlberg (80th overall, 2018)
Albin Eriksson (44th overall, 2018)
Detroit Red Wings:
Jesper Eliasson (84th overall, 2018)
Alex Cotton (132nd overall, 2020)
Otto Kivenmaki (191st overall, 2018)
Patrik Siikanen (195th overall, 2018)
Justin Schutz (170th overall, 2018)
Filip Johansson (24th overall, 2018)*
Jacob Olofsson (56th overall, 2018)
New Jersey Devils:
Benjamin Baumgartner (161st overall, 2020)**
Eetu Pakkila (203rd overall, 2018)
New York Rangers:
Jacob Ragnarsson (70th overall, 2018)
Evan Vierling (127th overall, 2020)
Eric Engstrand (155th overall, 2020)
Connor McClennon (178th overall, 2020)
Marcus Westfalt (205th overall, 2018)
San Jose Sharks:
Linus Oberg (206th overall, 2020)
Tampa Bay Lightning:
Declan McDonnell (217th overall, 2020)
Toni Utunen (130th overall, 2018)
Bear Hughes (148th overall, 2020)***
*As a first-round pick, if Johansson is not signed by the deadline the Minnesota Wild will receive a compensatory pick in this year’s draft. That pick would be the 24th selection in the second round, 56th overall.
**Though traditionally draft picks out of Switzerland saw their rights held indefinitely, the new transfer agreement from 2020 that Baumgartner was selected under (combined with the fact that he was an overage player in the draft) means he will also become a free agent if not signed by the deadline.
***Hughes has signed an AHL contract with the Hershey Bears but his NHL rights will still expire if not signed to an entry-level deal.
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Would the Wild rather have the 56th pick or Johansson? His numbers, even for a defenseman, don’t look great.
They take the pick
I’m curious…when teams have someone on their reserve list as Indefinate…how long do they really carry them? I’ll use DMITRI SEMIN as an example for the St Louis Blues. Drafted in 2001, never played in North America and by all accounts has not played since the 18-19 season. Does a drafted player fall off the list after a certain amount of time of inactivity?
Nope. Indefinite means forever. He’ll only be removed from the reserve list when he signs an NHL contract or retires–and even then, if he came back his draft rights would still be held by the organization. The reason for this is the lack of transfer agreements between the NHL and KHL (and previously, Switzerland and some other leagues).
To use another example, Sergei Mozyakin, one of the most successful players in KHL and Russian hockey history, is still technically on the CBJ reserve list, after they used a ninth-round pick on him in 2002 when he was already 21 and had expressed he wouldn’t come to North America.
I know it’s easy to look back on now but taking Johansson when some of the next defencemen to come off the board were Bernard-Docker, Lundkvist, and Romanov looks pretty foolish. Especially considering Johansson was viewed as a reach at the time.
Surprised NYR wouldn’t bring back Vierling with his size and youth at the center position and the possibility of losing both Strome and Copp in upcoming free agency.