Columbus continues to bolster their numbers on the blue line, adding a third free agent defenseman so far in Dillon Simpson. The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reports that it is a two-year, two-way deal for Simpson, which will carry an average annual value of $675K in the NHL.
Simpson, 25, was eligible for Group VI unrestricted free agency this season and will leave the Edmonton Oilers after another season spent entirely in the minor leagues. The former University of North Dakota standout played 61 games for the Bakersfield Condors in 2017-18 and recorded 18 points. Obviously not in the Oilers plans, he’ll try to catch on with the Cleveland Monsters and show the Blue Jackets that he’s capable of excelling in professional hockey.
Columbus saw Jack Johnson and Ian Cole head to new teams in free agency and have responded by signing several minor league defensemen to rebuild their depth. The team is also hoping for a bounce back by the Monsters, who struggled this season after seeing several key graduations over the last few years.