It’ll likely be another busy day for player movement around the world of pro hockey as many clubs are still looking to secure quality players for next season. As always, we’ll keep track of the notable moves made in those minor and foreign leagues.
- Star AHL scorer Riley Barber is headed overseas for the first time in his pro career. The 29-year-old has signed a one-year deal with Barys Astana in the KHL, and heads to Kazakhstan after an extremely productive 2022-23 campaign. Barber scored 32 goals and 64 points last season, leading the AHL’s Texas Stars in scoring. Barber has hovered around the point-per-game mark in terms of scoring almost every season since his 55-point rookie campaign in 2015-16, but he didn’t get into any NHL games last season. Now he’ll join other former AHLers in Jeremy Bracco, Eddie Pasquale, and Pontus Åberg in the Kazakh capital.
- 2017 Carolina Hurricanes second-round pick Luke Martin has signed a contract with Liiga’s HIFK Helsinki, according to a team announcement. Martin spent four seasons playing college hockey at the University of Michigan after he was drafted before beginning his pro career in earnest in 2021-22. He spent most of the year in the ECHL with the Utah Grizzlies, scoring 43 points in 59 games and earning ECHL All-Rookie team honors. This past season Martin was an ECHL All-Star scoring 25 points in 25 games with the Jacksonville Icemen, a scoring pace that earned him a 28-game run in the AHL with the Colorado Eagles from January through March. Now 24, Martin will join HIFK looking to play a heavy dose of minutes in one of Europe’s best leagues likely with the hope that a strong performance there will earn him a look from an NHL club.
- HIFK have also signed former St. Louis Blues defenseman Petteri Lindbohm, adding another experienced name to their blueline. The 29-year-old is receiving a three-year contract to play in the Finnish capital, a deal that is commensurate with his status as a high-quality defenseman in European leagues. Lindbohm has 49 NHL games on his resume and won a gold medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics and 2019 IIHF Men’s World Championships. Lindbohm spent last season with Frölunda HC in the SHL, scoring 14 points in 58 games while averaging over 20 minutes of ice time per night. He’ll likely be a minutes-eating defenseman at HIFK as well, and he could be a major help to their efforts to go to return to Liiga’s semifinals next season or potentially beyond if things break right.
- Former Florida Panthers prospect Max Gildon has signed a one-year contract in the DEL with Adler Mannheim. The 24-year-old was the 66th overall pick at the 2017 draft, selected out of the U.S. National Team Development Program. He spent three seasons playing college hockey with the University of New Hampshire, culminating in a 2019-20 campaign that saw him post an impressive 29 points in 34 games. Gildon got off to a fast start to his pro career scoring 19 points in 32 games with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors, on a loan from the Panthers. That got him named to the AHL’s All-Rookie team for 2020-21, but he wouldn’t be able to build on that momentum and push for an NHL call-up. Injuries wiped out pretty much the entirety of Gildon’s sophomore AHL campaign and this past season he managed just 14 points in 47 games split between Bakersfield and the Charlotte Checkers. He was not issued a qualifying offer from Florida and will now try his luck with one of the DEL’s better teams rather than continue in North America.
- After helping his native Latvia make history winning a bronze medal at the IIHF Men’s World Championships a few months ago, former Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Mārtiņš Dzierkals has signed with Skellefteå AIK in the SHL. Dzierkals spent the last two seasons playing in Czechia for HC HC Plzeň in 2021-22 (30 points, 49 games) and HC Motor České Budějovice in 2022-23. (21 points, 52 games) Dzierkals last played in North America in 2017-18, when he scored 15 goals and 36 points in 51 games for the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears. He then left for Dynamo Riga, then playing in the KHL, and was a nominee for the league’s rookie of the year award scoring 13 points in 42 games. Now 26 with some significant international experience under his belt (he also represented Latvia at the 2022 Winter Olympics and three other IIHF Men’s World Championships) he’ll join the SHL finalists looking to help Skellefteå go on another deep playoff run and achieve the kind of glory Latvia won earlier this summer.
- Former Western Michigan University captain Nolan LaPorte has signed with Ferencvárosi TC of Hungary’s Erste Liga. The 31-year-old will arrive in Budapest after splitting 2022-23 between the EIHL’s Glasgow Clan and Slovakia’s HK Spisska Nova Ves. LaPorte was a key player during his time in Scotland, amassing 41 goals and 92 points in 104 games there, helping Glasgow reach the playoffs in 2021-22. LaPorte has also been a solid contributor at the ECHL level, where he has a career-high of 44 points in a single season. Ferencvárosi are looking for a player who can get them over the hump after back-to-back losses in the league finals, and the hope is likely that LaPorte can be that sort of player.
- It’s been a quick fall from grace for former New York Islanders defense prospect Bode Wilde, who’s now signed a one-year deal with HC Banska Bystrica in Slovakia’s Extraliga. The 2018 second-round pick once looked to be on track to make a major NHL impact after he recorded 70 points in 62 games with the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit in 2018-19, but he never found his footing in the Islanders organization professionally and spent all of last season on assignment with the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators, where he recorded just 14 points in 56 games. The Islanders did not issue him a qualifying offer after his entry-level contract expired this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent. He heads to a Banska Bystrica team that’s fallen on tougher days after winning three straight Extraliga championships in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
This page will be updated throughout the day.