It’s another busy Monday in the wide world of professional hockey, with quite a few players either finding new teams for next season or securing new contracts with the clubs they’ve already represented. As always, we’ll keep track of the notable moves from minor leagues and foreign professional leagues across the world.
- 1001-game NHL veteran Tomáš Plekanec isn’t retiring anytime soon. The 40-year-old longtime NHL center signed a contract extension to remain the captain of Rytíři Kladno, his hometown team in the Czech Extraliga. Plekanec ended his NHL career in 2018-19 and after two seasons playing for Brno, he joined Kladno upon their promotion back to the top division. Joining all-time great Jaromir Jagr with the club, Plekanec has scored at almost a point-per-game rate the last two seasons and will likely continue to play a major role for the team in the coming campaign thanks to this new contract.
- Luke Adam, a former Buffalo Sabres top prospect, has elected to leave Germany after a seven-year run in the DEL to sign with HC Plzen in the Czech Extraliga. The 33-year-old was a Sabres second-round pick at the 2008 draft and a few seasons after he was drafted he looked to be a long-term piece for Buffalo. In 2011, The Hockey Writers projected him as “a formidable 3rd line center for the Sabres for many years down the road,” and it’s easy to see why they did so by looking at Adam’s rookie season in pro hockey. He scored 29 goals and 62 points in 57 AHL games, winning the AHL’s Rookie of the Year award as well as AHL All-Star honors. But Adam’s standout qualities in the AHL never translated to the NHL, and he left for the DEL in the summer of 2016. Adam has a strong 233 points in 317 career DEL games and scored 17 goals and 36 points in 54 games for the Straubing Tigers last season. While the Tigers have made some major additions this summer, such as veteran NHL defenseman Justin Braun, they’ll be without Adam next season.
- Former Winnipeg Jets prospect Scott Kosmachuk has signed a one-year, one-way KHL contract with Lada Togliatti in Russia. The player, who has eight NHL games on his record from 2015-16, is a 29-year-old 2012 third-round pick who played last season with TPS Turku in the Finnish Liiga, scoring 17 points in 29 games. Before arriving in Turku, Kosmachuk had a two-year run as the leading scorer for VSV EC in the ICEHL, racking up 93 points in 90 games and earning All-Star honors. If he can translate some of the production he’s had in Liiga, the ICEHL, and even the AHL going back to his 2017-18 campaign with the Hartford Wolf Pack, he’ll be a quality addition to Lada.
- Lada added a second international import today: 2013 Pittsburgh Penguins draft pick Troy Josephs. The 29-year-old has been around a point-per-game scorer with both the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers and Swiss second-tier’s EHC Visp. Though he struggled in the AHL, which presents a step up in talent level compared to the ECHL, Joseph more recently established himself in Switzerland’s top division with Lugano, posting 49 points in 86 games and proving he can hang in one of the world’s better pro leagues.
- James Shearer, a former captain of the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings and WHL champion, has made the decision to leave the ECHL after his first full season in the league to sign a contract in the United Kingdom with the EIHL’s Coventry Blaze. While Shearer is far from the first player to head to the EIHL after his ECHL rookie season, the move is somewhat surprising given the role Shearer played for the Utah Grizzlies as a rookie. In addition to posting 23 points in 54 games, the 26-year-old blueliner was, as Blaze head coach Danny Stewart put it, “eating up good minutes in playoffs and relied upon in key situations,” and also serving as a team alternate captain. The Grizzlies added defenseman Brian Yoon, the captain of the NCAA’s Colorado College, a few days ago, though, which may have prompted Shearer’s exit.
- Former Dallas Stars prospect Emil Molin signed a one-year contract extension with KooKoo Kouvola in the Finnish Liiga, securing a second season with the club he joined last July. The 30-year-old winger had a decent debut season in Liiga, scoring 11 goals and 25 points. Those numbers are more in line with how Molin produced in his earlier days with Brynas IF, his former club, rather than his form later in his tenure there. Molin has one season of hockey in North America on his record, with 11 games total in the AHL and a 46-points-in-54-games run with the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads.
- 2015 Philadelphia Flyers fourth-round pick Samuel Dove-McFalls is headed to Germany, signing a contract with Lausitzer Füchse of the DEL2. Dove-McFalls was a high-end QMJHLer earlier in his career, winning a league championship with the Saint John Sea Dogs in 2016-17 and captaining the Rimouski Oceanic the year after. Dove-McFalls also was named the QMJHL’s Best Defensive Forward in his final season of major junior before beginning a four-year run of Canadian University hockey. The 26-year-old scored 13 goals and 34 points in 38 games for the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets and earned 16 AHL games with the Bakersfield Condors in what was his first full season as a professional hockey player. He’ll now join a team looking for promotion to the DEL and will likely play a major role at the club.