It’s another busy day across the world of hockey, both in the NHL and in Europe. In the NHL, the slate of preseason games today is highlighted by a rivalry contest in New York between the Islanders and Rangers.
Overseas, there are a few intriguing contests including a Liiga matchup between Ilves Tampere and KalPa Kuopio where NHL second-rounders Jani Nyman and Oliver Kapanen will do battle, as well as some quality games in Switzerland such as a battle between two top teams, Patrik Nemeth’s SC Bern and Derek Grant’s ZSC Lions.
As the schedule becomes more and more packed with hockey, player movement across the hockey world remains as active as ever. We’ll keep track of notable moves here:
- Former Arizona Coyotes prospect David Tendeck has signed a one-year ECHL contract with the Wheeling Nailers. Tendeck played in 32 games last season for the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators, posting a 12-12-5 record with an .892 save percentage. The 25-year-old 2018 sixth-round pick has posted strong numbers in the AHL (.914 save percentage in nine games) but hasn’t gotten an extended shot in the American League. He’ll look to change that by having a strong season backstopping the Nailers.
- Anthony Beauregard outscored three future NHLers in his final season with the Val d’Or Foreurs in the QMJHL, (Julien Gauthier, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Anthony Richard) but his first foray into pro hockey was a short one. The undersized scorer ended up in the Canadian University circuit before finally turning pro full-time in 2018-19 with the ECHL’s Brampton Beast. He wasn’t great in Brampton, though, and ended up signing in England with the EIHL’s Nottingham Panthers. Beauregard starred in Nottingham, starting a span of three seasons where he went from England to Wichita, Kansas to Switzerland, posting star scoring numbers at each stop. He was especially prolific in Wichita, winning ECHL MVP with 71 points scored. Last season, Beauregard scored 49 points for the ECHL’s Trois-Rivières Lions, and now he’s earned himself a shot to make the AHL on more than a call-up basis. He’s earned a PTO with the Springfield Thunderbirds, per his representation, and will look to earn a spot on the Blues’ affiliate’s roster to finally become a full-time AHL player.
- Former Tri-City Americans captain Tyler Sandhu has signed a one-year ECHL contract with the South Carolina Stingrays. The 27-year-old made his professional debut this past season after playing four seasons with the University of British Columbia. He began his pro career overseas in Central Europe, skating in 32 games for the ICEHL’s Vorarlberg Pioneers. He scored 19 points in 32 games, earning himself a chance to play full-time in North America’s third tier of pro hockey.
- After a half-decade of NCAA hockey with the Arizona State University Sun Devils, former Calgary Flames prospect Demetrios Koumontzis seems to have found a place to truly begin his professional career. The 23-year-old blueliner signed a one-year ECHL contract with the Idaho Steelheads, a deal that allows Koumontzis to remain with the club he finished 2022-23 with. Koumontzis appeared in ten regular-season games in Idaho, scoring 10 points, and added three playoff games as well, a solid first step into the world of professional hockey.
- Veteran Liiga center and one-time Hershey Bears forward Juuso Ikonen has signed a one-year contract with Liiga’s Ässät Pori. Although Ikonen, a former 39-point scorer in Liiga, ended up winning a Liiga title and Champions Hockey League championship last season, he actually only played in 18 games for Tampere. Now he’ll get a chance in Pori, hoping to shore up a spot on a scoring line to help the club reach the postseason, something they have only done once since their championship season in 2012-13.
- After four strong campaigns in HockeyAllsvenskan with Västerås IK, forward William Wikman finally earned an extended SHL shot with Leo Carlsson’s Örebro HK last season. Wikman’s play in the bottom six and 12 points in 52 games helped Örebro make a run to the SHL semifinals, and now Örebro has extended their relationship with Wikman by two additional seasons.
- Despite having not even turned 25, Swiss forward Sven Leuenberger has already won two National League titles with his club, EV Zug, a team whose academy he first joined when he was 14. Now, he’s extended his relationship with Zug even longer, signing an extension through 2028 with the team. Never a high-scoring player, Leuenberger has a knack for seeing his production tick up in the postseason and has represented both his club and country in some big moments. He’s been on many deep playoff runs with Zug and also represented Switzerland at two IIHF Men’s World Junior Championships. Now confirmed to play for Zug through 2028, the hope will be that more National League titles will follow.
- Former Winnipeg Jets prospect Ryan Olsen is returning once again from Germany in order to play in the ECHL. Olsen has signed with the Tulsa Oilers, a team he played three games for in 2016-17. The 29-year-old 2012 Jets draft pick was the DEL’s most penalized player in 2022-23 despite playing in just 39 games, as he racked up 91 PIMs to go alongside 15 points. Olsen’s ECHL experience is strong, as he has 65 points in 81 career games as well as a Kelly Cup championship on his resume. In Tulsa, Olsen will be tasked with bringing his signature combination of grit and offensive touch to the table to help the Oilers have a bounce-back season after a poor 2022-23.
This page may be updated throughout the day.