With NHL free agency now underway, dozens of lower-level players are also trying to find work. Many of them will end up overseas or signing minor league deals. This is where we will keep track of notable signings around the world.
- The Laval Rocket of the AHL announced today that they have agreed to a one-year, one-way AHL contract with forward Gabriel Bourque. Bourque, 31, has 413 games of NHL experience and spent last season with the Rocket. In 67 games in Laval, Bourque had 11 goals and 28 points. Bourque was the team’s most important penalty-killing forward and should help the Rocket have another strong season.
- The Rocket also announced two more contracts today: one-year, two-way (AHL/ECHL) deals with goaltenders Philippe Desrosiers and Joe Vrbetic. Desrosiers, 26, was the number-one goalie for the Montreal Canadiens’ new ECHL affiliate, the Trois-Rivieres Lions. Desrosiers went 19-13-1 with a .902 save percentage and 3.09 goals-against-average, helping lead the Lions to a playoff berth in their first-ever season. Desrosiers, a second-round pick of the Dallas Stars at the 2013 draft, will likely receive a similar role in the ECHL next season. Vrbetic, who turns 20 in October, was a seventh-rounder of the Canadiens at the 2021 draft. He was the starting goalie for one of the OHL’s best teams, the North Bay Battalion, and went 29-10-6 with a .906 save percentage.
- After dramatically avoiding relegation to Swedish third-tier league HockeyEttan, Sodertalje SK is looking to solidify their place in HockeyAllsvenskan. They took a step towards doing so today, signing former Erie Otters star Anthony Luciani. Luciani spent 2021-22 as a top scorer for Orli Znojmo in the Austrian Erste Bank Hockey League, where he had 51 points in 48 games.
- Former NHLer Taylor Beck, who last played in the NHL with the New York Rangers in 2016-17, signed a one-year contract with HC Sibir Novosibirsk of the KHL. Sibir was a playoff-caliber team in 2021-22 and should be boosted by the addition of Beck, who had 38 points in 42 games last season for Dynamo Minsk.
This page will be updated throughout the day