A long-time NHL farmhand is sticking around. After heading to the Arizona Coyotes organization after the trade deadline in a minor-league deal, journeyman defenseman Steven Kampfer is extending his stay in the desert on a one-year, two-way contract for 2023-24, the team announced. PuckPedia confirms he’ll earn the league minimum of $775K at the NHL level, $225K at the AHL level, and is guaranteed a minimum of $250K next season.
Kampfer didn’t see any NHL ice last season but was under contract with the Detroit Red Wings, spending most of the season with their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. A March 9 trade sent him to the Coyotes for future considerations, though, and he recorded seven points in 15 games down the stretch with the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners. It was the 34-year-old’s first season back in North America after a one-year absence spent with the KHL’s Ak Bars Kazan, which allowed him to represent the United States at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The 2007 draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks has consistently been an eighth/ninth defenseman option for NHL teams, seeing ice in seven straight seasons from 2014-15 to 2020-21. He’s spent most of his career with the Boston Bruins (in two separate stints) but has appeared in 231 NHL games overall, scoring 39 points. He’s also appeared in NHL games for the Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, and New York Rangers.
While he’s likely destined for Tucson again next season, it wouldn’t surprise many to see Kampfer in at least a few games with the Coyotes’ blueline, given its paper-thin state.