Earlier this summer after the New Jersey Devils were ruled out of the return to play bubble, Julian Melchiori started seeking out his next job. The minor league defenseman had only been signed to an NHL contract by the Devils in late-February, but had still not actually played anywhere but with the Binghamton Devils of the AHL. Since that deal made him an unrestricted free agent and it wasn’t at all clear when the next NHL season would be, he did what many minor league free agents did, and signed in the KHL.
Melchiori never did actually play in the KHL though and is now on his way to another overseas league. The 28-year-old defenseman has agreed to terms with the Wolfsburg Grizzlys for the upcoming season, getting out of his KHL contract in the process.
Originally a third-round pick of the Atlanta Thrashers in 2010, it’s been mostly the minor leagues for Melchiori over the last decade. He does have 30 games of NHL experience but hasn’t played at that level since the 2016-17 season. Instead, he has spent the last three seasons suiting up for three different AHL teams, scoring 17 points in 61 games for Binghamton in the most recent campaign.
Given his experience at the NHL level and success in the minor leagues—not to mention his 6’5″ frame—it wouldn’t be surprising to see Melchiori back in North America in a year, filling out the depth chart of an organization. For now, he’ll test himself in the German league.