Although it’s generally a slow period for player movement in the NHL as teams hone in on arbitration cases, that isn’t the case for clubs in minor and overseas professional leagues. Just as the Maple Leafs begin an arbitration hearing with netminder Ilya Samsonov (no pre-arbitration agreement could be reached, according to The Hockey News’ David Alter) teams in quite a few leagues across the world, including the German DEL in particular, have been active making moves. As always, we’ll keep track of the notable ones here.
- 2014 fifth-overall pick Michael Dal Colle is nearing a contract with the DEL’s Iserlohn Roosters, according to a report from Eishockey News in Germany. Dal Colle, 27, is a former top prospect who began his European pro career last season with TPS Turku in the Finnish Liiga. Dal Colle wasn’t horrible, but he only managed four goals and a total of 19 points in 36 games for Turku, and has now ended his association with the club at one year. The former AHL All-Star now heads to the Roosters, who finished the 2022-23 campaign 13th in the DEL standings.
- Another forward with some NHL games on his resume rumored to be nearing a contract in the DEL is Joseph Cramarossa, a former Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild player. Cramarossa split last season between the Wild organization and Adler Mannheim in the DEL. He played with the Wild in both Iowa and Minnesota until he was placed on unconditional waivers so he could join Mannheim. After scoring eight points in 15 regular-season games and just one point in seven postseason games, Cramarossa has made the choice to continue in the DEL and join the Frankfurt Lions, a mid-table team from last season.
- 2011 12th overall pick Ryan Murphy has signed a contract with EHC Red Bull Salzburg of the Central European ICEHL, according to a team announcement. This signing confirms Murphy will spend a second year playing in Europe since he last played in North America. Murphy, a 30-year-old defenseman, spent last season with Ufa Salavat Yulayev in the KHL, scoring 17 points in 43 games and earning the right to play in the KHL All-Star Game. Murphy was the 2020-21 AHL Defenseman of the Year and brings a stellar resume (including 175 games of NHL experience) to Austria and the defending ICEHL champions.
- 25-year-old former NCAA winger Kohen Olischefski began this season with the hope of establishing himself in the AHL and earning a full-time spot with the Rochester Americans. While he finished the year playing postseason games for the Amerks, Olischefski spent most of the season in the ECHL with the Cincinnati Cyclones. Olischefski could only manage two goals in 16 AHL games and scored 26 points in 43 ECHL games. Now, the versatile forward has signed a contract with Dusseldorf EG in the DEL, choosing to continue his pro career overseas after his rookie campaign in North America.
- EHC Red Bull Munich, the defending DEL Champions, have signed former Detroit Red Wing Adam Almquist. The move replaces former AHL and DEL Defenseman of the Year Zach Redmond, who agreed to a mutual contract termination after a season spent playing a significant role on Munich’s blueline. The 32-year-old Almquist last played in North America in 2013-14, scoring 53 points in 73 games for the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins and earning two games with the Red Wings. He scored his first (and only, to this date) NHL goal that season, before moving on to have a strong pro career in Europe with stops in Sweden, Switzerland, Belarus, and Russia.
- Alexandre Grenier, a former quality prospect in the Vancouver Canucks system, has signed with the Cologne Sharks in the DEL. The 31-year-old 2011 90th overall pick is a two-time AHL All-Star who last played in North America in 2018-19 with his hometown Laval Rocket. He’s had a successful run overseas since then, including a season with Langnau in Switzerland that saw him post 48 points in 47 games. Grenier is no stranger to the DEL, either, and has 84 points in 99 career games in Germany’s top league.
- Elias Rosén, cousin of Buffalo Sabres first-rounder Isak Rosén, has signed with the Vaxjo Lakers in the SHL, the defending Swedish champions. Rosen wrapped up a four-year collegiate career with Bemidji State University last season and made his pro debut on an ATO with the ECHL’s Kansas City Mavericks. The five-foot-ten left-shot defenseman was an accomplished player in college, earning First-Team All-Star honors in his conference for three consecutive years, including his 2020-21 campaign that saw him named conference Defensive Player of the Year. He acquitted himself well in a limited sample size of games with Kansas City, scoring nine points in 14 games, and has now earned a shot to establish himself with a top team in one of the best leagues outside the NHL.
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