The 2023-24 regular season is quickly approaching – if you’re a European team, that is. The KHL’s season commences on September 1, with other notable leagues, such as the SHL and the Liiga, beginning soon after. With that in mind, we’re keeping tabs on notable minor deals coming across the wire from non-NHL leagues:
- The KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg signed defenseman Andrey Pedan to a two-year contract extension today, per an Instagram announcement from the club. Pedan, 30, was a 2011 third-round draft pick of the New York Islanders but was dealt to the Vancouver Canucks before eventually making his NHL debut in 2015-16. He played 13 games in the NHL that year, going without a point and registering a -3 rating. He hasn’t gotten another NHL shot since then, and he left the North American minor pro ranks for Russia in 2018 after a quick stint in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization. Pedan was SKA’s best shutdown defender last season, leading the team with a +32 rating and had five goals and 20 points in 64 games. He remains with a team loaded with former and future NHL talent, such as 2024 prospective top-five pick forward Ivan Demidov, Philadelphia Flyers forward prospect Matvei Michkov, Carolina Hurricanes defense prospect Alexander Nikishin, and former Carolina Hurricanes winger Valentin Zykov.
- 23-year-old forward Jake Wise has signed a one-year deal to remain with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers in 2023-24, per a team announcement. Wise was a 2018 third-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, but they let his exclusive signing rights lapse earlier this week by not signing him to an entry-level contract. Wise wrapped up his collegiate career with 12 goals, 27 assists and 39 points in 40 games for Ohio State last season before adding a goal and two assists to end the season with Charlotte in one regular-season and one playoff game. He’ll compete among the Florida Panthers’ prospects slated for minor-league action and looks to earn an entry-level deal with a strong rookie campaign.
- Late yesterday, the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins re-signed forward Samuel Houde to a one-year contract for next year, according to a team release. In doing so, he remains with the only professional organization he’s ever known since turning pro in 2021. Formerly a Montreal Canadiens prospect after they selected him in the fifth round of the 2018 NHL Draft, the team opted not to sign him to an entry-level contract, and he signed in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after completing five years of service with the QMJHL’s Chicoutimi Saguenéens. Now 23 years old, Houde avoided ECHL assignment last season and will look to do so again. In 84 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton thus far, Houde has 13 goals and 13 assists for 26 points.
- Former Boston Bruins and Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Svedberg signed a one-year contract with HC Bolzano of the ICEHL today, per a team release. Svedberg, an undrafted free agent signing out of Europe by the Boston Bruins in 2012, immediately burst onto the scene in the minors with AHL Providence, recording a .925 save percentage in 48 games and taking home AHL Rookie of the Year and Goaltender of the Year honors. Things never quite panned out in the NHL for Svedberg, though, as he made just 19 appearances in Boston over the following two seasons before returning to Europe in the summer of 2015. An attempted NHL comeback in 2017-18 didn’t work out, either, as he was relegated to third-string duties for the Minnesota Wild and again spent the season in a starting role in the AHL. Now 33, the Swede is in the twilight of his career and is beginning to struggle with injuries and inconsistency. He suited up in just 12 games for the DEL’s Fischtown Penguins last season, recording a 4-8-0 record and a .904 save percentage.
- The AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds took a large step toward filling out their depth for next season, bringing back forwards Mitchell Hoelscher, Steven Jandric and defenseman Austin Osmanski on one-year deals, per a team post on X. Hoelscher, 23, was a 2018 sixth-round pick of the New Jersey Devils but never signed his entry-level contract and his exclusive signing rights have since expired. He played in a career-high 57 AHL games for the Thunderbirds last season, scoring nine goals and adding seven assists for 16 points. Jandric, 25, will slot in on the wing and recorded eight points in 31 games with Springfield in 2022-23, his first full pro campaign after finishing his collegiate career at Merrimack. Osmanski, a 2016 draft selection of the Buffalo Sabres, returns to Springfield for his third season in the organization. He’s compiled a goal and six points in 34 appearance there thus far.
This page will be updated throughout the day.