Today is another busy day across the hockey world, with 14 NHL games set to be played. Highlights from tonight’s slate include a rivalry showdown between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs, a dramatic Pacific Division matchup between the Los Angeles Kings and Jonathan Quick’s Vegas Golden Knights, and a major contest in Pittsburgh where franchise legend Marc-Andre Fleury has a chance to deal a devastating blow to his former team’s playoff hopes.
In Europe, some similarly major games have already been completed. The Pelicans took a 2-1 lead against Ilves Tampere in the Liiga semifinals thanks to a game-winning goal from former Ottawa Senators prospect Ben Blood, while EHC Red Bull Munchen tied their DEL semifinals against Grizzlys Wolfsburg thanks to a third-period rally. In Sweden, IF Bjorkloven overcame an early goal from Vancouver Canucks first-rounder Jonathan Lekkerimaki and Djurgarden to take a series lead in their chase for promotion to the SHL. As fans everywhere continue to enjoy the great games on offer today, teams in leagues around the world are making roster moves. We’ll keep track of those transactions here.
- Former Carolina Hurricanes 20-goal scorer and 506-game NHL veteran Victor Rask signed a two-year contract with Switzerland’s SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers, confirming his transfer from a rival Swiss side, Fribourg-Gotteron HC. Playing alongside multiple former NHLers such as David Desharnais, Janne Kuokkanen, and Reto Berra, Rask had a decent first season in the top tier of Swiss hockey. He scored 26 points in 35 games and last season split time between three clubs, scoring 21 points in the NHL and 10 in the AHL.
- Former Buffalo Sabre Arttu Ruotsalainen signed a two-year deal with Switzerland’s HC Lugano, according to a team announcement. The move confirms his transfer from National League rival EHC Kloten, where he scored 42 points in 52 games. Ruotsalainen, 25, played both 2020-21 and 2021-22 in the Buffalo Sabres organization, compiling 64 points in 70 AHL games and 10 points in 35 NHL games. He joins a Lugano club that lost in the NL quarterfinals and will replace another former NHLer, Brett Connolly, as a go-to offensive producer.
- A few notable players will not be returning to Sweden’s Brynas IF next season, which will take place in HockeyAllsvenskan as the club was relegated for the first time in its history. Some of those notable names include former NHLer Dmytro Timashov (their leading scorer with 33 points in 52 games), former Laval Rocket blueliner David Sklenicka, and Jussi Olkinoura, who played 15 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins this season.
- Colgate University forward and ECAC Champion Colton Young took his first step to professional hockey today, inking an amateur tryout agreement with the ECHL’s Greenville Swamp Rabbits. The 24-year-old is the brother of San Jose Sharks prospect Alex Young, who has emerged as one of the best scorers in his conference. Colton scored 28 points in 40 games this season and had an impressive 32 points in 38 games last year. Also of note is that Young attended the Edmonton Oilers’ 2022 Development Camp.
- Kenneth Johnson, the brother of Stanley Cup Champion and longtime NHL veteran Jack Johnson, was claimed on waivers today by the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears. Johnson signed his first professional contract on March 28th with the Wheeling Nailers and was let go by the team after playing just two games. Now, he’ll get another chance to show what he can do in North America’s third-tier pro league.
- The AHL’s Ontario Reign, the affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, have signed Pennsylvania State University forward Ture Linden to a PTO. Linden made the ECAC’s Second All-Star Team last season as a forward for RPI, scoring 39 points in 44 games. He transferred to the Nittany Lions and had a solid season there, tallying 29 points in 39 games. Now, he’ll get a chance to earn a pro contract for the first time in his career with the Reign.
- After helping his team defeat Brynas and narrowly avoid relegation to HockeyAllsvenskan, Johan Olofsson is headed back to the Malmo Redhawks on a one-year contract extension. The 28-year-old is a veteran of nearly 500 SHL games and has played the last six seasons with the Redhawks. He scored 15 points in 48 games this season and will look to help secure Malmo’s SHL place next season.