Nashville Predators’ fans, prepared to get excited. Eeli Tolvanen, the 30th-overall pick in this year’s draft made his KHL debut today playing for Jokerit and what a debut it was. The 18-year old forward scored a hat trick and added an assist in just over 13 and a half minutes of ice time as they took down Dinamo Minsk 6-1 in their first game. While obviously it will be impossible for Tolvanen to continue this pace, he becomes the youngest player in KHL history to record a hat trick.
After being denied admission to Boston College for failing to meet the school’s academic requirements, Tolvanen almost tumbled out of the first round before signing a one-year deal (plus a 2018-19 option) with Jokerit. The 5’10” 170-lbs forward lit up the USHL in his draft year and possesses one of the quickest releases of any prospect in his draft class. It will be interesting to see where he spends next season, after a campaign that’s off to an incredible start.
- David Legwand will step behind the bench of the Sarnia Sting, an OHL franchise he is part owner of. The long time Nashville Predators’ forward will take an Associate Coach position with the team just over a year removed from his playing career. Legwand was an excellent player in his day, recording 618 points in 1,136 games over a 17-year NHL career. He’ll now join head coach Derian Hatcher in trying to turn the Sting around after a disappointing 2016-17 season. He’ll have to hope that Jordan Kyrou doesn’t make the St. Louis Blues out of camp, as he looked ready to take the next step towards professional hockey in the World Junior Summer Showcase. If Kyrou returns to the Sting, he could be in contention to lead the league in points after coming in sixth last year.
- The Hershey Bears have signed Tommy Hughes to an AHL contract, bringing in the former Hartford Wolf Pack defender for one season. Hughes was signed by the New York Rangers organization as a CHL free agent in 2013, but never saw action in the NHL. The 25-year old is about as stay-at-home as you can get in a defenseman, recording just 30 points over his four-year AHL career.
- Chris Terreri has joined the New York Islanders organization as a Goaltending Development Coach, and will also serve as Goalie Coach for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL. Terreri had previously been with the New Jersey Devils for sixteen years. While the Islanders have struggled to find consistency in their NHL netminders the past few seasons, they do have some of the most interesting prospects in the league in Ilya Sorokin and Linus Soderstrom. If either come over to North America in the next few seasons, Terreri will be tasked with unlocking their full potential.