There has been a flurry of NHL action of late with a number of UFA signings and RFA extensions, among other moves. However, it doesn’t stop there. Between loan recalls, overseas contracts, and college commitments, it has been another busy day for minor moves as the NHL inches closer to joining the other leagues worldwide currently enjoying the 2020-21 season.
- The San Jose Sharks have recalled goaltender Josef Korenar from his loan to HC Ocelari Trinec, the Czech club announced. The 22-year-old keeper had a down season in 2019-20 after excelling as an AHL rookie the year before, but his play could be trending up after posting an 8-2 record and strong numbers in the Czech Extraliga. With an uninspiring veteran duo of Martin Jones and Devan Dubnyk ahead of him, it would not be a surprise to see the Sharks call on Korenar to make his NHL debut this season, especially if he can return to form.
- The Boston Bruins have also made a loan recall, bringing back forward Robert Lantosi from HK Nitra of the Slovakian Extraliga, according to the team. While Lantosi may not seem like a top AHL option for the Bruins, he continues to impress with every opportunity. The 25-year-old played with the Providence Bruins on a minor league deal last season but earned an entry-level contract with 31 points in 50 games. He followed that up with a point-per-game pace through 18 games with Nitra on loan. Especially with the taxi squad as a new option, Lantosi could be a dark horse candidate to debut with the Bruins this season.
- Even as the free agent market starts to pick back up, some North American players are still signing overseas in order to get their season started instead of waiting and hoping for an NHL contract. Netminder Jared Coreau has joined that list, signing a one-year deal with the IceHL’s Bratislava Capitals, per a team announcement. The former Detroit Red Wings prospect has bounced around the AHL over the past few years without much in the way of results, leading to move overseas in hopes of rediscovering his game.
- Veteran forward Lance Bouma is in the same boat. After spending last season with the AHL’s Ontario Reign, Bouma is heading back to Europe, this time signing with the SHL’s IK Oskarshamn, the team announced. After seven seasons with the Calgary Flames, including four as a regular player, and another with the Chicago Blackhawks, Bouma has been out of the NHL since 2017-18 and hopes a strong season in Sweden may get him back on the radar.
- Tristan Mullin, formerly a top scorer for Cornell University, has finalized his transfer to the University of Vermont and will join the team in the spring semester, according to insider Mark Divver. The senior forward has recorded 20+ points in back-to-back seasons and with pro size and speed could draw NHL interest.
- Max Smolinski, son of former NHLer Bryan Smolinski, has committed to play his college hockey at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he announced today. The young puck-moving defenseman is expected to join RPI for the 2022-23 season. Smolinski is 2021 NHL Draft-eligible and hopes to impress scouts in his first season with the USHL’s Lincoln Stars.