Edmonton Oilers star Leon Draisaitl’s season may not be over just yet. After getting eliminated in the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Vegas Golden Knights, Draisaitl told reporters today, including Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, that he may join Team Germany at the ongoing Men’s World Championship.
If he does go, it would be his sixth appearance for Germany at the tournament, his first since 2019. The 27-year-old, coming off a career-high 128 points in 2022-23, would immediately become the best player at the tournament. Germany’s gotten off to an unlucky start during the tournament, facing stiff competition in their first three games (Sweden, USA, Finland) and losing all of them, in regulation, by one goal. Having recorded 17 points in 15 games over his last two Worlds tournaments, he’d greatly improve Germany’s attack against weaker Group A opponents down the stretch and have them rolling into the playoff stage.
- The AHL’s Abbotsford Canucks have signed defender Alex Kannok Leipert to a one-year contract extension, as announced today. The 22-year-old defender has attended development camp with Vancouver while in Abbotsford on an AHL contract, and he’ll continue to work within the organization in hopes of earning an NHL deal. Since wrapping up his junior career with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants in 2020-21, Kannok Leipert has a goal and eight assists in 85 career AHL games, along with a +19 rating.
- Staying in the Canucks organization, Vancouver activated defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson from injured reserve today, per CapFriendly. Ekman-Larsson, 31, missed the last 27 games of the regular season with an ankle injury. With four years remaining on his contract carrying a $7.26MM cap hit, Ekman-Larsson recorded just two goals and 22 points in 54 games, matched with a -24 rating.
- One of the Los Angeles Kings’ longest-tenured members earned a promotion today, with the team naming Bill Ranford their director of goaltending after 17 seasons as a goalie coach. Under Ranford’s tutelage, the Kings showcased potential Hall of Famer Jonathan Quick in the crease en route to two Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014. The added responsibilities mean Ranford will not only oversee the coaching of goalies at the NHL level but he’ll also be involved in the development and scouting of goalies at all levels inside the organization.