There have been an overwhelming amount of camp announcement in recent days – professional tryouts, amateur tryouts, and the like – but there are still many team and players looking for permanent homes this season. The following are some notable recent signings:
- Defenseman Victor Bartley is making his North American exit. The long-time Nashville Predators prospect seems to have run out of options and has opted to sign with Orebro of the Swedish Hockey League, according to a local news release (link in Swedish). This will be Bartley’s second go-round in Sweden, having played for Rogle BK in 2010-11 after a disappointing first pro season. It was in Sweden the first time that Bartley gained some NHL attention, signing on with Nashville the following off-season. Bartley played in the Predators system for five seasons, skating in 112 NHL games and recording 23 points, before being traded to the Montreal midway through the 2015-16 campaign. Barley then signed with the Minnesota Wild last summer, but spent the entire year in the AHL with Iowa. Bartley, an Ottawa native, now heads to Sweden with hopes of sparking his career once again. Orebro finished 12th in the SHL last year and offers little in the way of NHL veterans, but between Bartley and exciting, young Latvian Rodrigo Abols, the team hopes to turn it around in 2017-18.
- The Rochester Americans, AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, have signed Garret Ross to a one-year deal, according to a team announcement. While Ross is likely happy to under contract in 2017-18, the signing represents a further decline in the career of the 25-year-old forward. A fifth-round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012, Ross got his pro career off to a hot start in 2013-14 and 2014-15 with 34 and 43 points respectively. Ross also built a reputation as one of the more tough, physical forwards in the AHL. Yet, his production fell off in 2015-16 to just 20 points and Chicago chose not to qualify him, making him an unrestricted free agent. Ross landed another NHL gig, signing a one-year, two-way deal with the Arizona Coyotes, but injuries and poor play limited him to just four points in 27 games. Ross will have to show that he still has potential while playing on a minor league contract this year. There’s room for Ross to play a major role in Rochester, but he just needs to take advantage of the opportunity.
- Daniel Ciampini will look to take the next step in his career in 2017-18, as he has signed with the AHL’s re-located Belleville Senators, per a team release. While the deal is of a two-way nature and Ciampini could wind up back in the ECHL, he hopes that his production in 2016-17 can earn him a regular AHL spot. The Union College alum was a point-per-game player with the ECHL’s Manchester Monarchs last year, spending about half the season with the New Hampshire-based team and the other half with the AHL’s Ontario Reign, affiliate of the L.A. Kings. With 28 points in 28 ECHL games to go along with 5 points in 23 AHL games, it appeared that Ciampini was heading in the right direction if he hopes to return to the dynamic scorer he was in college. Belleville hopes that the trend continues and the AHL numbers improve in the new campaign.
- The Hershey Bears, AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals, have decided to give young Dylan Margonari another shot. The team announced that they have resigned the two-way center to a one-year extension. While under contract with Hersey in 2016-17, Margonari nevertheless played the whole season in the ECHL with the South Carolina Stingrays. He has just two AHL games under his belt, back in 2015-16, after he signed on with the Bears out of college. Unlike many players whose production drops off at the pro level, Margonari has never been much of a scorer – not at Minnesota State, not with South Carolina, and likely not with Hershey should he make the team. Instead, the 25-year-old simply brings smart decision making and quiet confidence to his role as a defensive forward. While some teams may overlook that ability, it seems to be a trait that the Bears still value.