It’s been a busy day across the hockey world, with multiple top European professional leagues in the thick of their playoffs. In Sweden, Djurgardens IF took a step towards promotion back to the SHL with a 4-1 victory over BIK Karlskoga, while both Skelleftea and Vaxjo completed dominant wins in their own playoff contests. In Finland, eight teams did battle in playoff matchups with highlights including a 1-0 overtime victory for HIFK Helsinki thanks to a goal from former Edmonton Oiler Iiro Pakarinen. As hockey fans across the globe enjoy all the action from Europe to the NHL, teams are still making adjustments to their rosters. We’ll keep track of those transactions here.
- Montreal Canadiens prospect Alexander Gordin had his contract terminated by his KHL club, HK Sochi. The 2020 sixth-round pick spent most of the season at the second-tier VHL level, scoring eight goals and 12 points for HK Rostov. He notched two points in six KHL games for Sochi, although he didn’t see a whole lot of ice time, including one game where he played just 25 seconds. The Canadiens have the exclusive rights to sign Gordin indefinitely, and although there is no word on whether he’s planning on heading to North America, this contract termination does give him options for where to continue his development.
- Five-year NCAA veteran Michael Underwood, 24, signed a PTO agreement with the AHL’s Colorado Eagles today. Underwood spent this season with Michigan State University in the Big 10, scoring five points in 38 games. The six-foot-one stay-at-home defenseman won the ECAC with Clarkson University in 2018-19, and will get his first taste of pro action with the Eagles, who are currently trying to lock up a Calder Cup playoff spot.
- The ECHL’s Florida Everblades signed Chayse Primeau, who is the son of former NHLer Keith Primeau and the brother of Montreal Canadiens AHL netminder Cayden Primeau. The 25-year-old has spent the past five seasons with playing college hockey, spending four years with the University of Nebraska-Omaha before transferring to Notre Dame for his final year. He has amassed 95 points in 154 career games, and was named an NCHC Second-Team All-Star in his senior season at Nebraska. He’ll now join the Everblades, who are right in the thick of a competitive race for the ECHL’s South Division title.
- After four seasons as a regular contributor at the SHL level for Vaxjo, netminder Viktor Andren struggled after signing a two-year deal with Brynas IF. He was eventually loaned down a level, to HockeyAllsvenskan, and has spent most of his time there over the past few seasons, save for brief cameos with the top division. This season, though, Andren has thoroughly impressed, posting a 2.04 goals-against-average and .921 save percentage for Almtuna IS. While he was unable to earn his club promotion to the SHL, his strong performance could pave his way back to Sweden’s top league. SportExpressen’s Johan Svensson reports that Andren has decided to play for Djurgardens next season. As previously mentioned, Djurgardens is currently in the race to be promoted back to the SHL, and should they make it there Andren would see time in their crease, potentially in a tandem arrangement with Vegas Golden Knights prospect Carl Lindblom.
- HockeyAllsvenskan’s IF Bjorkloven has signed two key players to contract extensions: 2018 Buffalo Sabres fourth-round pick Linus Cronholm, and two-time Champions Hockey League winner Mattias Norstebo. Both blueliners have played regular minutes for Bjorkloven and are currently attempting to defeat Vasteras IK in the chase for promotion to the SHL. The Sabres let Cronholm’s rights expire this past summer, choosing not to sign him to an entry-level contract, but he nonetheless seems to be fashioning himself a solid pro career in Sweden.
- Patrick Obrist is extending his playing relationship with Swiss club EHC Kloten for a ninth season. The 30-year-old Austrian was on hand when the team suffered relegation from Switzerland’s top league in 2017-18, and helped lead them to promotion last season. This season, he scored five goals and nine points in 47 games and helped Kloten avoid relegation.
- After spending the last year with the Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL, forward Tyler Kobryn has been released, according to the ECHL’s official transactions wire. The 26-year-old has scored 26 points in 120 career ECHL games, including six goals and nine points in 39 games this season. The former NCAA Division III forward’s release could be motivated in part by the recent signing of college free agent Mitch Walinski, who has scored three points in his first five games in the ECHL.
- The ECHL’s Wichita Thunder have released forward Brett Van Os, a player they acquired in a January trade from the Norfolk Admirals. The former Western Michigan University forward scored 12 points in 25 games for Wichita, but may be ceding his spot on the team to recent signing Jason Pineo and trade acquisition Brett Boeing.