It’s a busy Saturday for hockey, with 13 games on the NHL schedule, including an outdoor contest. In addition, the final of the Champions Hockey League was today, with Finland’s Tappara Tampere triumphing over Sweden’s Lulea. As hockey fans across the world enjoyed all today has had to offer, teams in minor and foreign leagues have made some tweaks to their rosters. We’ll keep track of those moves here.
- Former New Jersey Devil Nick Lappin has been traded in the ECHL. He was part of a four-player deal between the Kalamazoo Wings and the Florida Everblades. Lappin heads to Kalamazoo after an underwhelming ECHL debut with the Everblades. The 30-year-old has 60 games of NHL experience on his resume, and was once a 30-goal scorer in the AHL, but managed just nine points in 24 games in Florida. He’ll get a fresh start in Kalamazoo, where he’ll hope to earn a potential path back to the AHL.
- The other two pieces sent to Kalamazoo as part of the trade were rookie forward James McEwan and a player to be named later. This is McEwan’s debut professional season, and the Wings will be his third ECHL team of the year, as he began with the Orlando Solar Bears, was released after just one game, got 24 games with the Everblades and now has been dealt to Kalamazoo. McEwan was a solid contributor for the Guelph Storm in his OHL games and will look to translate his junior scoring to the ECHL level.
- In return for those players, the Everblades received the AHL’s Abbotsford Canucks’ reassignment of forward Carson Focht. The 2019 Vancouver Canucks fifth-rounder scored 21 points in 33 games for Kalamazoo, and will now head to Florida where he’ll get a chance on a playoff-bound team. Focht will be eligible for restricted free agency this summer as his $821k AAV contract with the Canucks will expire.
- Former San Jose Shark Antti Suomela is reportedly headed to Switzerland for next season, according to Blick’s Gregory Beaud. The 28-year-old forward is a former Champion’s Hockey League winner who has been a star in both the Finnish Liiga and Sweden’s SHL. This past season, he scored a whopping 59 points in only 43 games played for IK Oskarshamn, including 33 goals. Per Beaud’s report, he’ll be playing for HC Lausanne next season, a major acquisition for the Swiss side.
- The ECHL playing rights to former Soo Greyhounds star Billy Constantinou have been traded to the Atlanta Gladiators, per the ECHL’s official transactions page. The 21-year-old has been playing for the Norfolk Admirals most recently and has also spent time with the Wichita Thunder this season. He has 56 points in 91 career ECHL games and now heads to Atlanta, where he was for 16 games last season.
This page will be updated throughout the day.