Boston Bruins‘ undrafted rookie center Noel Acciari(55) has been just the kind of spark plug the team was looking for to complete their roster.
Playing mostly limited minutes on an average of 15 shifts per contest, he’s effectively making his presence felt using his small-ish 5’10” but wide 208 lbs. frame to break up plays and agitate the opposing offense despite only notching an assist in 7 NHL games.
He has 6 penalty minutes and a +1 rating.
The team has also magically posted a 5-0-2 record in his time up with the big club.
He has proven he knows how to win as the Providence College squad he skated with for four years won the 2014 NCAA Championship and he was regionally voted as the best defensive forward.
The 24-year old has seemingly played a similar role on reassignment to affiliate Providence Bruins but has also decently affected the score sheet in his first season with 7 goals, 12 assists and a +8 rating in 42 AHL games.
Signed to a 2-year entry level deal he likely just looking forward to become a fixture on the roster.
7th year defenseman Yann Sauve(4) played most of his games in 2014/2015 season in the AHL (17 with Springfield Falcons, 5 St. John’s IceCaps and 4 for Providence Bruins) and spent only 13 games with contract squad Orlando Solar Bears.
He followed that up run agreeing to another ECHL deal this time with Manchester Monarchs and a pair of short stints lacing up for Portland Pirates and Stockton Heat.
The decently sized blue liner didn’t seem to mind his time in New Hampshire as he exploded offensively with a career high 7 goals and 22 assists.
That display definitely helped him grab a deal with Medvescak Zagreb of the KHL for 2016/2017.
He played 25 games scoring a goal and 2 assists and when that calendar was waning without a playoff berth, re-signed and returned to the Monarchs.
After only a pair of games with a 2 assists, the 27-year old heads back overseas signing with EHC Munchen of the DEL for some postseason hockey.
He could re-appear again.
Tampa Bay Lightning 7th round pick in the 2013 draft (#186 overall) 6th year Swiss-born right wing Joel Vermin(92) picks up his first NHL recall and looks to be staying for a spell.
After a quick start with farm team Syracuse Crunch (3 goals, 7 assists in 12 AHL games with a +2 plus/minus), he already looking to eclipse marks set in his rookie year in North America, where he connected for 12 tallies and 21 helpers.
In 2 games with the parent club he skated 15 shifts for 11:18 of total ice time with 1 assist (on the game-winning goal in his 2nd appearance), 1 shot on net, 2 hits, 1 giveaway, 2 minutes of power play time and a +1 rating. Both games were also victories.
The not exactly huge 5’11” 192 lbs. forward skated 5 seasons in his country’s top league for hometown team Bern racking up some decent numbers (31 goals, 50 assists in 177 games with a +32) and won the 2013 NLA Championship.
At 23-years old he signed a three-year entry level deal that makes him a restricted free agent at the end of the current campaign and looks to be in line for a nice extension to continue.
Florida Panthers‘ 5th round pick in the 2009 draft (#138 overall) center Wade Megan(28) has played in the club’s system for the last three seasons on minor league contracts, first through two years with San Antonio Rampage, then last season with new affiliate Portland Pirates.
The seemingly graciously listed at 6’1″ 190 lbs. forward recorded new career highs in all categories through 2015/2016 getting 14 goals, 9 assists for 23 points with a +10 rating, 145 shots on net and even a new best 53 penalty minutes.
These totals were more in line with what he achieved in his last two years at Boston University, where he posted identical 29 point campaigns, serving as captain in his senior season.
Heading into his fourth season on an upward scoring trajectory, the soon-to-be 26-year old scores his first NHL contract signing a one-year two-way deal with St. Louis Blues that will likely see him spent most of his time with farm club Chicago Wolves.
New York Rangers‘ 6th year goalie, Swedish-born Magnus Hellberg(45) played a career high 53 AHL games with affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack posting an easy best 30 wins and 20 losses with a 2.40 GAA and .918 SV% including 4 shutouts.
Originally a Nashville Predators‘ 2nd round pick in the 2011 draft (#38 overall) he played his first two pro seasons in Allvenskan with Almtuna IS, then Frolunda HC of the SHL before coming to North America.
The big 6’5″ 200 lbs. net minder played most of his time with minor league team Milwaukee Admirals, but did get into his only NHL game in 2012 and also had a smattering of appearances in the ECHL for Cincinnati Cyclones.
As the just turned 25-year old was heading into his first restricted free agency at the end of 2014/2015, he was dealt to the Blueshirts and quickly signed to a two-year deal.
He was recalled on a couple of occasions but mostly for simple practice and back up purposes. He could easily slide into more big league time, especially if he keeps up the workload for the farm team.
Toronto Maple Leafs‘ 1st round pick in the 2013 draft (#21 overall) rookie center Frederik Gauthier(23) is another young player getting his chance with the big squad in a non-playoff berth season.
The huge 6’5″ 238 lbs. power forward has appeared in 7 games scoring his first NHL point, an assist while skating a lot of minutes short-handed time, delivering crushing hits and breaking up plays.
He’s having a good first year with league leading affiliate Toronto Marlies scoring 6 goals and 11 assists for 17 points in 54 AHL contests with a +17 rating in a mostly checking line role.
This comes after three years of junior hockey with Rimouski Oceanic, where he was virtually a point-per-game player and won the 2015 QMJHL Championship.
The soon-to-be 21-year old, signed through 2017/2018 on an entry level deal, will compete hard at the upcoming training camp for a full-time roster spot but may just win the minor league’s highest award, the Calder Cup first.
Veteran right wing Ashton Rome(44) lasted just five ECHL games with Greenville in 2012/2013 before jumping ship for Dusseldorfer EG of DEL.
He would spend two seasons with the team, then jump allegiances to Schwenninger Wild Wings for his next two campaigns, reaching almost point-per-game totals in 2015/2016 scoring 17 goals and 15 assists in 39 contests.
The 11th year pro switches it up once again but stays for a 5th run in the German league joining Iserlohn Roosters.
He did briefly return on a pto with Norfolk Admirals but was released after only a couple of AHL appearances and returned overseas to resume his career.
The 30-year old he still seems to have plenty left in the tank and seems to be simply enjoying the ride.
Toronto Maple Leafs‘ rookie center Zach Hyman(11) plays a hard checking, offensive-minded style of game that’s giving the deep selection a longer, early look from the parent club.
He was originally a Florida Panthers‘ 5th round pick in the 2010 draft (#123 overall) but traded in the off season for an older prospect.
The speedy 6’1″ 205 lbs. forward put up exceptional numbers in junior A with Hamilton Red Wings, including 102 points in his final year before joining the ranks at University Of Michigan.
In his senior year, serving as assistant captain he popped for 22 goals and 32 assists in 37 games earning him a 2014/2015 Hobey Baker Finalist nod.
A late cut from training camp, he connected immediately with the scoring sheet on reassignment to affiliate Toronto Marlies.
In 54 AHL games in his first season he has a tidy 13 goals and 20 assists with a +28 rating and 121 shots on net.
The 23-year old’s hard play has earned him an NHL recall.
In his debut he skated a whopping 22 shifts for 15:58 of ice time with two shots, 1 hit and :32 of short-handed play.
He may be on a short leash between the big league and the farm club but before too long it’s almost an easy bet he’ll be permanently up in the show.
St. Louis Blues‘ 5th year center Pat Cannone(12) continues to elevate his play with age.
The 29-year old forward has been a story of chip-chip chip away at it and it will start to come loose.
After two seasons in Ottawa Senators‘ farm system playing for Binghamton Senators, his sophomore campaign didn’t go quite as well on the score sheet as his rookie year did, but he turned a -7 into a tied for 2nd +21 rating.
It wasn’t enough to keep him around for the final year of his contract as he was traded in the off season to St. Louis for future considerations (bag of rocks).
Impressive in his first run with affiliate Chicago Wolves scoring 16 goals and 18 assists and he had a team leading +24 plus/minus.
That was good enough for the parent club to sign him up to a one-year extension and he became an assist captain for the minor league club. He set new personal highs for assists (33 – 1st), points (47 – 2nd) and his +11 was also good enough for 2nd on the squad.
It was in the postseason that he really started setting his current pace though, as he notched 6 assists in 5 Calder Cup Playoffs games.
Given another 1-year contract, he was named captain for 2015/2016 and is on pace to record new best marks in all categories.
In 41 games he has 16 goals, 21 assists with a +14 and he also looks to be shooting the puck on net with way more frequency at 87.
He recently was named MVP for the Central Division in the 2016 AHL All-Star Game getting 3 goals and an assist with a +2 in the victory.
Although he has yet to earn an NHL recall and there are maybe younger prospects ahead of him, he has put in the effort to see what he can do up in the big league.
Philadelphia Flyers‘ 2nd round pick in the 2012 draft (#45 overall) gargantuan 6’6″ 232 lbs. goaltender Anthony Stolarz(41) is starting to grow into his game.
Taking a somewhat crazy but cool path through juniors first with Corpus Christi Ice Rays of the NAHL, followed by a year at University Of Nebraska-Omaha before settling in for a couple of seasons with London Knights, where he won the 2013 OHL Champinship and had a league best SV% at .926 in 2013/2014.
Reassigned to be the starting goalie with affiliate Lehigh Valley Phantoms, his workload looks to almost double from his rookie season, when he played in 31 AHL games.
He’s already tended the cage for 29 appearances in the current campaign giving his just over .500 team a chance to win every contest with a 15-10-3 record, 2.45 GAA and .915 SV%.
The just turned 22-year old has been recalled on numerous occasions without making his NHL debut but that moment can’t be too far off at this point.