The Wolves had been the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate since the 2020-21 season, but the independently-owned squad opted to sever their ties with the Hurricanes this summer and act as the AHL’s only non-NHL-affiliated team in 2023-24 (and for the foreseeable future). It was not an amicable split between the two teams, and Wolves GM Wendell Young inferred over the summer that the team would not accept any Hurricanes prospects on loan once the season started. That practice has broken with Ponomarev here, though, who becomes just the second NHL-affiliated player on the Wolves roster, joining New Jersey Devils-contracted netminder Keith Kinkaid. The remainder of the Wolves roster is filled out by players on AHL contracts.
Ponomarev is a rather intriguing prospect, too. A second-round pick of the ’Canes in 2020, Ponomarev was quite solid with the Wolves last season in his first North American pro season, leading the team with 24 goals in 64 games and second with 46 points. Recently returning from a season-opening injury, Ponomarev had no points in two contests with Tucson.
Elsewhere in the Metropolitan Division tonight:
- The New Jersey Devils are hopeful that defenseman Colin Miller can join the team on their upcoming road trip, head coach Lindy Ruff said today. Miller sustained an undisclosed injury in practice that has kept him out of the last ten games, although he’s still yet to make his Devils debut after sitting as a healthy scratch for the team’s first three contests. The 31-year-old, currently on injured reserve, joined New Jersey via trade this summer from the Dallas Stars, with whom he registered 21 points and a +23 rating in 79 games last season.
- Staying in the Tri-State area, New York Islanders shutdown star Adam Pelech is missing a second consecutive game with a lower-body injury tonight against the Capitals, head coach Lane Lambert said this morning. The 29-year-old has just one assist through ten games this year and has yet again posted positive relative possession numbers, although his 20:22 average time on ice is the lowest in five years. Left-shot defender Samuel Bolduc, who’s struggled mightily this season with a -4 rating in nine games despite playing under ten minutes per game, remains in the lineup.
- The New York Rangers have brought defenseman Connor Mackey back up to the active roster, per a team announcement. Mackey, who is serving as the team’s extra defender while Adam Fox is sidelined with a lower-body injury, has been recalled and returned to AHL Hartford four times in the past week as the team keeps him on the roster as little as possible to extend his waiver-exempt clock. Mackey, who signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Rangers last summer, passed through waivers unclaimed at the beginning of the season but can only remain on the NHL roster for 30 days until he needs to clear them again to return to Hartford. He has not yet played in an NHL game for New York this season after skating in 30 last season for the Flames and Coyotes.