The time of the tryout is upon us. Now that teams have pretty much filled out their rosters, players left without contracts will begin to accept professional tryouts with invitations to training camps. Just yesterday, Tyler Pitlick and James Neal were both added this way. CapFriendly has added a few more to that list, reporting that Brent Gates, Nikolas Brouillard, and Josh Healey have all signed PTOs with the Anaheim Ducks.
These are not players expected to challenge for NHL roster spots; instead, they will compete to try and secure two-way NHL deals, which would at least give them the chance of a call-up. None of the three have appeared at the highest level to this point, though all have varying degrees of success in the AHL.
Gates, 25, was a third-round pick of the Ducks in 2015 and has bounced back and forth between the AHL and ECHL ever since. This season, he saw 45 games with the San Diego Gulls and set a career-high with 12 goals and 23 points. Gates never did sign his entry-level contract, meaning his exclusive draft rights expired a number of years ago, but he has remained with the organization ever since.
Brouillard, 27, went undrafted out of the QMJHL and played one season in the ECHL before going to school, attending McGill University for three seasons. He has been with the Gulls since, and scored 39 points in 66 games last season–to go along with his 131 penalty minutes.
Healey, 28, was actually a pretty highly sought-after talent out of college a few years ago, and eventually signed with the Calgary Flames. His uber-physical game didn’t translate all that well to the professional ranks, however, and he never did make it to the NHL. The Flames left him unqualified, and after a one-year deal with the Nashville Predators, he played last season on an AHL deal. In 57 games for the Milwaukee Admirals, he scored eight points and racked up 89 penalty minutes.