The Stanley Cup Final is just days away, meaning the NHL news cycle is likely to take a brief pause until a champion is awarded and the focus turns solely to the upcoming draft and free agency. This morning has been a busy one for overseas moves, however, as teams try to get some last bit of business wrapped up before the weekend.
- American defender Ben Blood continues his wide-ranging European career, signing a one-year contract with the DEL’s Löwen Frankfurt. In the past five years, the former Ottawa Senators prospect has played for four different teams across Great Britain, Finland, and Austria. Now 34 years old, the hulking 6-foot-4 defender takes his services to Germany for the first time after recording five points and 39 penalty minutes in 32 games with the Liiga’s Pelicans last season.
- Austrian World Juniors cult hero netminder Sebastian Wraneschitz is returning to his home country, signing a one-year deal with his hometown Vienna Capitals of the ICEHL. Wraneschitz, 21, played for Vienna in the 2020-21 season but opted to head to North America to play juniors in 2021-22. He settled in, playing 18 games with the USHL’s Tri-City Storm, but injuries limited him to just three appearances there in 2022-23.
- The Liiga’s Luuko has signed a pair of formerly NHL-contracted players to one-year deals: defenseman Josh Brook and forward Brayden Burke. Brook, a former second-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens, spent the 2022-23 season on an AHL contract with the Calgary Wranglers but played just 13 games. The 23-year-old will now look to revive his career overseas. Burke, 26, amassed 202 games of AHL experience across six seasons between the Tuscon Roadrunners, Ontario Reign, Milwaukee Admirals, and Manitoba Moose.
- Heading back to the DEL, the Nürnberg Ice Tigers have inked 27-year-old forward Charlie Gerard to a one-year deal. Playing with the ECHL’s Reading Royals, Gerard finished top 10 in league scoring in 2022-23 after spending most of 2021-22 up in the AHL with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. This will be Gerard’s first experience overseas.
- Former New York Rangers forward prospect Jake Elmer is heading to Denmark, signing a one-year contract with the Odense Bulldogs of the Metal Ligaen. Elmer failed to stick in the AHL after a strong overage showing in juniors, which led to an NHL contract from the Rangers after going undrafted. The 24-year-old played six ECHL games this season before heading overseas, finishing out the year with HK Nitra in the Slovak Extraliga.
More to come…