The Los Angeles Kings have decided that burning a year of Jaret Anderson-Dolan’s entry-level contract isn’t worth it at the moment, and have instead sent him back to the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL for the remainder of the season. Anderson-Dolan had played five games so far with the Kings, recording his first NHL point and getting a taste of what life is like in professional hockey. He’ll now return to the junior ranks and likely compete for a spot on Team Canada at the upcoming World Junior Championship. Los Angeles has recalled Sean Walker from the AHL to fill the roster spot.
Some may remember Frank Corrado from his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, patiently waiting for a turn in the lineup that never seemed to come. Corrado was in the Maple Leafs organization for nearly two full seasons, but only played 41 games with the club and routinely sat in the press box as the extra instead of even getting playing time at the minor league level. Dealt to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2017, he at least was given the chance to suit up more often for their AHL affiliate, though still didn’t receive much NHL playing time.
Corrado is now heading back to that Maple Leafs organization, as the now 25-year old defenseman has signed an AHL contract with the Toronto Marlies to try and get his professional career back on track. Coming off a major knee injury, he’ll try to work his way into the defending Calder Cup champions lineup and show he still has enough left to challenge for an NHL role.
Corrado was originally selected by the Vancouver Canucks in 2011, but has played in just 76 NHL games and 175 regular season AHL contests over parts of seven seasons. That’s an impressively low total for a defenseman who has shown at times to be a quality puck-mover and capable of handling himself at both ends of the ice. Though the NHL is now several steps away, he’ll be given another opportunity at the AHL level.
Another week is underway in the NHL and the Nashville Predators find themselves alone in first place with 14 points. Their +12 goal differential also leads the league, as they look to repeat as Presidents Trophy winners this year. While all the other teams around the league try to catch them, we’ll keep track of the minor moves made to get them a little closer.
- Marek Mazanec has been returned to the AHL by the New York Rangers, who have recalled Alexandar Georgiev in his stead. The goaltenders had been swapped to give Georgiev some playing time, and will likely continue to be flipped back and forth throughout the season. Georgiev has played just one NHL game this season and allowed seven goals, but is still expected to be the primary backup for Henrik Lundqvist.
- Troy Grosenick is on his way up to the Nashville Predators to serve as Juuse Saros’ backup, while the team has sent Miroslav Svoboda down to the minor leagues. Grosenick has a 3-0 record with the Milwaukee Admirals so far this season, and will come up to help Saros fill the skates of Pekka Rinne while he’s on the shelf.
- The Dallas Stars have recalled Justin Dowling, rewarding the minor league veteran for his strong early play in the minor leagues. Dowling hasn’t played an NHL game since the 2016-17 season, but is valuable depth for the organization given his strong offensive history in the AHL.
The Carolina Hurricanes are going to have to make a goaltending decision before long, as Scott Darling is almost ready to return to the net. The team activated the injured goaltender today and sent him to the minor leagues on a conditioning stint. Darling will start for the Charlotte Checkers on Wednesday evening, but could force the NHL team to waive either Curtis McElhinney or Petr Mrazek before long, unless they’re planning on carrying three goaltenders.
After a promising start to the season the New Jersey Devils have dropped back to back games against the Colorado Avalanche and Philadelphia Flyers, and will now welcome the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Nashville Predators to town on Thursday night. With that in mind, the team has recalled former KHL defenseman Egor Yakovlev from the minor leagues. It didn’t take long for Yakovlev to make an impact with the organization, recording seven assists in his first seven AHL contests including two in his very first game.
Signed last May to a one-year, entry-level contract, Yakovlev is making his North American debut after playing for the last six seasons in the KHL. The mobile defenseman loves to skate the puck out of trouble and found success for years in the KHL and internationally until seeing his ice time drop dramatically in 2017-18 with SKA St. Petersburg. That’s a common occurrence for a player who has indicated he’s on his way to North America, though there’s no confirmation he was sat for that reason.
If he does get into the lineup, the 27-year old will fit in with a defense corps that moves the puck extremely quickly and tries to create tempo all over the ice. The team did have seven other defensemen, but has placed Steven Santini on injured reserve after suffering a broken jaw this weekend when a puck struck him in the face. The club has also recalled forward Kevin Rooney, who had been sent down in a paper transaction yesterday.
The New York Islanders suffered a loss today as former owner Charles B. Wang passed away Sunday at the age of 74, according to Newsday’s David Schwartz. Wang, best known for keeping the Islanders in the New York area, bought the Islanders in 2000 when the team was in an uncertain future with the idea of bringing the franchise back into a top-class organization.
“We are heartbroken by the news of Charles Wang’s passing. New York Islanders’s co-owners Dewey Shay, Scott Malkin and I were privileged to be selected by Charles to be his partners in the team. Charles loved the Islanders unconditionally. The arena at Belmont Park will be just one of his many legacies left to the team and to Long Island. His unique personality, his wonderful sense of humor and his extraordinary wisdom will be greatly missed,” said Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky.
Wang served as majority owner until 2016 before becoming a minority co-owner. He is survived by his wife and three children. We at Pro Hockey Rumors offer our condolences to the family.
- NHL.com’s Michael Smith writes Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour said that goaltender Scott Darling, who has been injured since the preseason, is expected to make a rehab start with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL on Wednesday. He could return to the Hurricanes for their Friday game against San Jose. Darling, who struggled in his first year in Carolina with a .888 save percentage last year, will force the team to make an interesting decision as the team already has two goaltenders on their active roster in Curtis McElhinney and Petr Mrazek. Neither goaltender has been stellar so far for the Hurricanes. McElhinney has been their top goaltender so far in four games, putting up a 2.76 GAA and a .876 save percentage. Mrazek has struggled more, posting a 3.07 GAA and a .874 save percentage in four games. Will the team keep three goalies or put on of them on waivers in the next week?
- Seth Jones, who is rumored to be coming close to a return, skated with the team for a sixth consecutive day on Saturday, according to The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline (subscription required). Then, however, he stayed on for a hard skate with the players who weren’t dressing against the Blackhawks. The scribe writes that Tuesday against Arizona could be a potential return date, which would make it four weeks to the day that he strained a knee ligament. “I can’t give you a specific date,” Jones said. “Nor can the trainers, I don’t think. I don’t know how it’s going to do on Monday at practice. We’ll just see. It’s just day by day, how confident I am on it, with contact and all that stuff.”
Another Saturday night in the NHL has gone by, and with it another chance for young players to impress their coaching staffs. Now a new day opens and we’ll be right here keeping track of all the minor moves around the league.
- Nick Paul and Christian Jaros have been returned to the AHL by the Ottawa Senators, in another cost-cutting maneuver. The Senators aren’t back in game action until Tuesday night, at which point they’ll likely make following transactions to bring some players back up or activate them from the minor leagues. After Mark Stone’s game winner last night, the Senators are flying high on early season success.
- Kevin Rooney has been sent to the minor leagues by the New Jersey Devils, likely meaning that Jesper Bratt is getting close to a return. The Devils don’t play again until Thursday, giving the young forward several more days to recover from the broken jaw he suffered just before the start of the season. If he can’t go, expect New Jersey to make a different move in the next few days.
- The San Jose Sharks announced they have assigned center Dylan Gambrell to the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL and is expected to play for them today. Gambrell has been on a roller coaster getting called up and sent back done several times already this year. The 22-year-old hasn’t made an appearance for the Sharks yet this year and has only made two appearances all season for the Barracuda, although he has posted three goals and five points in those two appearances.
A decision is looming for the Nashville Predators. As TSN’s Bob McKenzie again noted in yesterday’s “Insider Trading” segment, forward Eeli Tolvanen has a European Assignment Clause that would allow him to leave North America after ten games in the AHL. When Tolvanen failed to break camp and was assigned to the Milwaukee Admirals, the countdown began. After last night, Tolvanen has skated in all six of the Admirals games and would hit ten by the end of a busy four-game stretch next week. The 2017 first-round pick came over from Jokerit of the KHL late last season and played in three regular season games for the Predators, but did not see the ice in the postseason. He was then expected to be an impact player in Nashville this year, but did not make enough of an impression in the preseason. While the Predators may be equally as disappointed in the situation as Tolvanen, it is the Finnish forward who holds all the leverage. If he opts to leave and return to the KHL, where he would make a much higher salary and play a more important role, he can’t return to the NHL this season. Nashville would lose a valued depth asset for nothing for the remainder of the year. Can and will they offer Tolvanen a full-time spot on the NHL roster? Or will the young forward see the developmental value in remaining in the AHL? If the answer to both of these questions is “no”, a budding star will soon depart from North America this season.
- Could Wojtek Wolski be eyeing a return to North America? It seems unlikely for the former Colorado Avalanche star, who has played in the KHL for parts of the last six seasons. However, Wolski and his most recent club, Mettalurg Magnitogorsk, have come to a mutual agreement on the termination of his contract, the team announced. Wolski has been a valued hired gun in the KHL for some time now, but as he enters the twilight of his career – now 32 years old with a lot of tread on the tires – Wolski could try to land a gig in the AHL or even NHL in an attempt to get back to the top level of pro hockey before his playing days are done. He certainly put on a good show for NHL eyes on the international stage last season, leading Team Canada in goals at the Olympic Games. Wolski last played in the NHL in 2012-13 with the Washington Capitals and was far from the 50-point form he showed early in his career with the Avs, but was nevertheless a serviceable player. Don’t rule out the possibility that he tries his hand at a return. Even if he doesn’t, he won’t remain unemployed for very long.
- Former Boston University forward Chase Phelps has made an interesting career move. A four-year starter for the Terriers, the undrafted Phelps was seemingly unable to land a job in North America this off-season, not showing up on any training camp rosters either. The checking forward was a reliable defensive asset for BU for four years, even if his offensive production never matched up with his USHL No. 21 overall pick tag. Yet, Phelps has found a team willing to give him a chance. French club Anglet has signed the two-way forward, the team announced. Located in the south of France, Anglet plays in the French premiere league, the “Synerglace Ligue Magnus”. Phelps was once a standout for Shattuck St. Mary’s; now moving on from the uber-competitive Hockey East Conference to the French pro ranks, perhaps he can re-discover that scoring touch.
The Colorado Avalanche may be focused on the present, but their future looks bright as well. Not only do the Avalanche have the Ottawa Senators first-round pick this season, which could be a lottery pick despite the team’s success early on this year, the team likes what it sees from Cale Makar, the fourth-overall pick in 2017.
The 19-year-old, who is in his sophomore year at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, has been dominating so far in the early games of the season. UMass reports that Makar leads the NCAA already in points/game with 2.33 as he has three goals and seven points in three games. Makar, who had a good season last year, had just 21 points in 34 games last season, putting him way ahead of where he was a year ago. There continue to be rumors that he’ll sign with the Avalanche after this collegiate season.
- The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford (subscription required) answers questions in a mailbag session and points out that the St. Louis Blues intend to put more responsibilities on the shoulders of second-year defenseman Vince Dunn, who has struggled getting minutes early in the season and has been scratched twice. However, Rutherford writes that the Blues believe he’s been one of their most effective defenders and is likely to receive top-four minutes from now on. Evidently, Dunn suffered through back issues over the summer and wasn’t able to get into top shape before the season started. Now that he’s almost back to the shape he was in last year, Dunn is likely to see an uptick in minutes. He’s already expected to be paired on the top defensive line with Alex Pietrangelo.
- In a notebook, The Athletic’s Eric Duhatschek (subscription required) writes that Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey is developing nicely after being drafted as an offensive-only defenseman back in 2013. Since then, he’s developed into an excellent shutdown defender and with Jacob Trouba, combine as the team’s shutdown defensive line against other team’s top players. However, when veteran defenseman Dustin Byfuglien went down with an injury last week, Morrissey was given his job on the No. 1 powerplay and still maintains that job despite Byfuglien’s return. Byfuglien has moved to the No. 2 power play role.
- With the Winnipeg Jets sending 2017 first-round pick Kristian Vesalainen down to Manitoba of the AHL Friday, Moose head coach Pascal Vincent said that the goal is to give the 19-year-old lots of minutes, especially on the power play to get him more ready to eventually return to Winnpeg. “…we want to put him in a position to be successful so he is going to play a lot of minutes and on the power play and I think for his development that’s the right thing,” Vincent said (via Dave Minuk of illegalcurve.com).
Soshnikov, who suffered a concussion in the preseason after taking a puck to the ear, will try to regain his form over those five AHL games and could be eligible to return to the Blues for their Nov. 1 game at home against Vegas.
The 25-year-old was acquired by St. Louis in a mid-season trade from Toronto last season in exchange for a 2019 fourth-round pick. Soshnikov, who couldn’t crack the Maple Leafs’ lineup last season, did appear in 12 games for the Blues once he arrived, posting a goal and an assist. He did play in 56 games for Toronto during the 2016-17 season, posting five goals and nine points. Upon his return, he should compete for bottom-six minutes with the team.
Soshnikov’s agent, Dan Milstein, first announced the transaction.