While the whole league considers their options now that the Montreal Canadiens have announced Andrei Markov will not return, teams will continue to make minor changes and signings to finalize the fringes of their roster before training camp. Here we’ll keep track of all the minor signings of the day.
- The New York Islanders have signed Connor Jones according to Arthur Staple of Newsday, inking the 26-year old forward to a one-year two-way contract. Jones got into four games for the Islanders this season, his first taste of NHL action. A graduate of Quinnipac University, Jones has had a hard time replicating any offensive success in the professional ranks, and was held scoreless in his short NHL stint last year.
- The Milwaukee Admirals, the AHL affiliate of the Nashville Predators, inked former Detroit Red Wings goalie prospect Jake Paterson to a minor league contract today, per a team release. A 2012 third-round pick from the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit, the 23-year-old keeper was one of the best goalies in the ECHL last year. Not only did he lead the league in wins with 34, but he posted an impressive 2.28 GAA and .918 save percentage as well. This is the second season in a row that Paterson had dominated the ECHL and has likely earned a shot at regular AHL time. However, he joins a crowded pipeline in Milwaukee that includes Marek Mazanec, Matt O’Connor, and veteran Anders Lindback fighting for time in net. Barring an injury or two, Paterson will likely be back in the ECHL next year. Yet, Paterson was still one of the top free agent goalies remaining on the market before the Admirals scooped him up.
- If Paterson had stayed in the Red Wings organization, he would have faced a similar roadblock to AHL play time behind Calder Cup hero Jared Coreau, the recently re-acquired Tom McCollum, and Czech import Matej Machovsky. However, Pat Nagle appears to be up for the challenge. The 29-year-old minor league veteran has signed on with Detroit’s AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, on a minor league deal, the team announced. The Michigan-native has played with Grand Rapids before – a two-game stint on loan from the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets in 2014-15 – and was loaned again to the Griffins last season, but did not see any action. Now officially part of the team, the veteran keeper will look to earn a permanent spot in Grand Rapids, but faces an uphill battle against both the trio of goalies ahead of him on the depth chart and his own age in inferior play at the AHL level.