A pair of defensemen have been activated from season-opening injured reserve (SOIR) and are headed to their respective teams’ AHL affiliates. The Florida Panthers have assigned Matt Kiersted to the Charlotte Checkers, per CapFriendly, and the Detroit Red Wings have assigned Seth Barton to the Grand Rapids Griffins, per the team.
Season-opening injured reserve is generally used for players who did not make the team out of training camp, but can’t be involved in any NHL to AHL transactions due to their injured status.
Kiersted, 24, is a candidate to find himself back in the NHL sooner rather than later given the organization’s weak defensive depth. An undrafted free agent signing out of the University of North Dakota in 2021, Kiersted’s appeared in 17 NHL games over the past two seasons, registering a goal and an assist and averaging 14:31 per night. He had 20 points in 63 games with the Checkers last season in his first professional campaign, and he’s destined to play a top-four role again there when not on the NHL roster.
Barton was a third-round selection by the Red Wings in 2018. He’s entering his second full professional campaign after spending three seasons at UMass-Lowell from 2018 to 2021 and recorded six points in 20 AHL games during his rookie campaign with the Griffins in 2021-22. It’ll be a struggle for playing time in Grand Rapids, which now boasts some of the team’s top defense prospects such as Simon Edvinsson, Albert Johansson, and Eemil Viro. A return to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye, where Barton played five games last season, could be in the cards.