It’s another busy day across the world of pro hockey, both in North America where NHL training camps are fully underway and in Europe, where the top pro leagues are fully into their regular season. Today’s slate of games featured some major contests, highlighted by an upset 5-2 win by Cologne on the road against the reigning DEL champions, Munich. Over in Finland, former University of Vermont star netminder Stefanos Lekkas enjoyed a stellar start to his Liiga career, guiding KalPa Kuopio to a shutout victory over Lukko Rauma.
The action happening on the ice all around the world of hockey is mirrored by the action on the transaction wire. As always, we’ll keep track of notable moves here.
- Former Calgary Flames prospect Jack Beck, who did not sign an entry-level first with the Flames before the team’s exclusive rights expired June 1st, has been traded in the OHL. The Soo Greyhounds have acquired Beck, 20, for a 2026 second-round pick and 2027 third-round pick in the OHL Priority Selection. Beck was a sixth-round pick of the Flames at the 2021 draft, selected there despite the OHL not holding a 2020-21 campaign. Beck scored 12 goals and 53 points for the Ottawa 67’s last season, and scored 12 points in 11 playoff games.
- Longtime South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Andrew Cherniwchan announced his retirement from pro hockey today. Cherniwchan has the third-most games played all-time for the Stingrays, and served as their captain for three seasons. He’s a one-time ECHL All-Star who has quite a few long playoff runs to remember in South Carolina, and although Cherniwchan did not end up making it to the NHL he does have nearly 200 AHL games on his resume.
- 2018 Philadelphia Flyers sixth-round pick Gavin Hain has found a landing spot to turn pro, signing a one-year ECHL deal with the Iowa Heartlanders. The former USNTDP pivot has spent the last half-decade with the University of North Dakota. He took a real step forward in his senior year, scoring a career-high 11 goals and 18 points in 36 games. The number-one pick of the 2016 USHL Futures Draft will have a chance to establish himself in pro hockey with a Heartlanders franchise still looking for its first-ever winning season.
- Former Edmonton Oilers prospect Filip Berglund extended his contract with the SHL’s Örebro Hockey for three additional seasons. The 26-year-old rearguard was the 91st overall pick at the 2016 draft by the Oilers, selected after a strong draft season that saw him post 41 points in 43 games at the J20 level for Skellefteå AIK. He led Swedish junior hockey in scoring by a blueliner, and went on to play as an SHL regular for a half-decade. In 2020, Berglund signed an entry-level deal with the Oilers and spent the second year of the deal, 2021-22, in the AHL. He skated in 53 games for the Bakersfield Condors and helped them reach the playoffs, but didn’t register a goal and only totaled six regular-season points. He returned to Sweden for 2022-23, joining Örebro, where he’ll now remain for a few more years after helping the team on a deep SHL playoff run in his debut campaign.
- Colorado Avalanche fans may recognize the name of Sami Aittokallio, a netminder who appeared in two games for the club and was a fourth-round pick of the team in 2010. Since leaving the North American pro circuit for the 2015-16 campaign, Aittokallio has had a solid career overseas, and today he found a team to suit up for, at least for the next two weeks. Liiga’s JYP has signed him to a two-week contract, set to last for the duration of an injury suffered by incumbent starter Veini Vehviläinen. Aittokallio spent the last two years playing in Germany, posting a stellar .923 save percentage for the Bietigheim Steelers, who were at the time a newly promoted DEL club. But last season, Aittokallio went 5-20-0 as Bietigheim were relegated to DEL2, a circumstance that may have contributed to the fact that he’s now signing a short-term deal rather than a full-time job to play as a starting goalie.
- Former Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo captain Anton Shenfeld has signed a one-year contract with the KHL’s Chinese club, Kunlun Red Star. Shenfeld is coming off a difficult 2022-23 season, one where he scored just three points in 28 games playing in Siberia for Sibir Novosibirsk. He was once a quality top-six forward for both Novgorod and Tolyatti Lada, and the hope for the Red Star is likely that he’ll find a way to recapture some of that form.
- Sergei Boikov, a former Colorado Avalanche defensive prospect, has signed a two-year KHL contract with HC Avangard Omsk. The club acquired his sporting rights from Dynamo Moscow in exchange for monetary compensation. Boikov has been a regular on Moscow’s blueline for the last three seasons, skating in a total of 123 games for the club. He hasn’t scored very much (he has just 17 career KHL points) but offers decent size, physicality, and some championship experience. (Boikov won the ECHL’s Kelly Cup with the Colorado Eagles in 2017)
- Alexander Karachun has established himself as a quality DEL scorer over the past two years with the Schwenninger Wild Wings, totaling 25 points in 37 games last season. The club has announced that Karachun has extended his contract through 2025 with the team, meaning he’ll be able to help in the Wild Wings’ fight to keep its place in the DEL through 2025. Karachun wasn’t always a success in the DEL, and he struggled to put points on the board earlier in his career with the Wolfsburg Grizzlies. But an above-point-per-game season in the DEL2 launched him back into the DEL, and he hasn’t looked back, helping the Wild Wings stave off relegation for the past two seasons.
This page may be updated throughout the day.