It may not seem like it but we’re now just about six weeks away from players starting to gather in their respective cities to prepare for the season, with training camps opening just a little while after that. That’s despite several top free agents still being unsigned, now nearly two weeks into free agency. Meanwhile, minor league teams are starting to fill out their rosters and players who aren’t going to get a good NHL offer are accepting deals overseas. As always, we’ll keep track of all those minor moves right here.
- The Tucson Roadrunners have signed Adam Cracknell to a one-year, AHL contract, bringing in the veteran minor league forward after he spent the last two seasons with the Bakersfield Condors. Cracknell has long been one of the most consistent players in the AHL, and showed it again with 21 goals and 47 points in 58 games this year, while also suiting up for Canada at the Olympics. Now 37, he isn’t ready to hang it up just yet.
- Alexei Emelin is staying in the KHL, after signing a new one-year contract with Dinamo Minsk for 2022-23. The 36-year-old is a three-time Gagarin Cup champion, and has been back in Russia since 2018, when he decided to leave his NHL career behind. In 456 regular season games, mostly with the Montreal Canadiens, Emelin has 81 points.
- Former top prospect Justin Pogge has signed a deal with a new DEL team, going from Kolner Haie to Grizzlys Wolfsburg for the upcoming season. The 36-year-old netminder is replacing Chet Pickard, another former top NHL prospect, who has decided to retire after spending the last seven seasons in Germany. Pogge, selected 90th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2004, appeared in seven NHL games. Pickard, 18th overall in 2008 by the Nashville Predators, never hit the ice for an NHL match.
- Cam Morrison has signed a one-year two-way minor league contract with the Charlotte Checkers, after failing to receive a qualifying offer from the Chicago Blackhawks. The 23-year-old forward was a second-round pick by the Colorado Avalanche back in 2016 but never signed with them, instead becoming a free agent after a four-year career at Notre Dame. In 43 games with the Rockford IceHogs this year, he recorded 14 points.
- The Chicago Wolves announced they’ve signed three players, including two players who failed to receive NHL qualifying offers a few weeks ago. Most notable out of those players is former Nashville Predators defense prospect David Farrance, whose strong offensive game failed to translate from college to the pros with just 14 points in 50 games with the Milwaukee Admirals last season. He is still just 23 years old though, and it’s a nice get for the Carolina Hurricanes organization on an AHL deal. They also signed former Chicago Blackhawks goalie prospect Cale Morris and undrafted free agent forward Eric Cooley, the older brother of top 2022 draft pick Logan Cooley.
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