The focus today might be on the NHL and all the player movement coming out of the expansion draft, but that doesn’t mean minor league clubs are sitting on their hands. The Hershey Bears have signed veteran defenseman Cody Franson to a one-year AHL contract.
Franson, 33, hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2017-18 season and has seemingly accepted the fact that he won’t be getting a deal at that level anymore. That doesn’t mean his professional career is nearing an end though, as the veteran defenseman is still a rock-solid minor league option that helped the Rockford IceHogs tremendously last season and was excellent in the KHL the two years prior.
In 26 games, he recorded 17 points and was named to the Central Division All-Star Team. This isn’t just a random minor league journeyman arriving in Hershey, but a veteran of more than 500 NHL games. There was a time when Franson was a sought-after puck-moving defenseman, racking up multiple seasons of 30+ points. While he’s perhaps not a strong enough skater to continue at that level, he’s a valuable addition to any AHL team.