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.
Undrafted 3rd year center Cory Kane(8) picks up his game after two seasons of AHL contracts and heads to Czech Extraliga signing a one-year deal with HC Ocelari Trinec.
The 6’1″ 201 lbs. feisty forward started his pro career playing 4 regular season games then 12 Calder Cup Playoff match-ups on an ato with Providence Bruins after four years and a decently successful senior campaign at Ferris State University.
He would sign an extension just before his rookie season and played a career high 55 games scoring 7 goals and 12 assists with a +11 rating but was also reassigned down to South Carolina Stingrays for 6 ECHL games.
Although he wasn’t retained for a second run in Rhode Island, it didn’t take him long into free agency to secure a contract with Texas Stars.
The soon to be 26-year old should find the challenge of going overseas rewarding as he’ll probably be able to open up enough space to post some pretty good numbers.
Undrafted 3rd year defenseman Gabriel Verplaest(27) had his most productive offensive season with Norfolk Admirals‘ in 2015/2016.
Through 57 ECHL games he scored a career high 6 goals and 28 big assists for 34 points, tripling his stats from his rookie campaign with Bakersfield Condors.
The 6’1″ 195 lbs. blue liner never showed the kind of production he’s had since turning pro in four years in the QMJHL with Baie-Comeau Drakkar, where his best showing was 19 assists in his final run.
He was loaned to Stockton Heat late-ish into his sophomore season but failed to register a point in 8 AHL appearances.
He did get into one scrap, which mirrors the aggressive playing style he played in juniors and in the lower league, which was good for 15 fights in each of his first two years.
The still super-young 22-year old re-signs to stay put in Virginia for 2016/2o17, but should gain a training camp invite and could raise his game.
Boston Bruins‘ 4th round pick in the 2011 draft (#121 overall) right wing Brian Ferlin(19) was enjoying a good first season before getting sidelined for the Calder Cup Playoffs with a hit that unknowingly knocked him for a loop in the final game of the regular campaign.
As a rookie he potted 11 goals and 9 assists in 53 contests, while also grabbing a first recall for 7 appearances and his first NHL point, an assist.
The 6’2″ 209 lbs. forward sat for the majority of his sophomore run, finally returning four months later.
In 23 AHL games with affiliate Providence Bruins he scored 6 goals and 8 assists and reversed his -9 rating from a year earlier to a +9, while continuing to impress the parent club.
He enjoyed a first offensive breakout in his 2nd year of play for Indiana Ice with 25 goals and 48 assists in 53 USHL games before leaving for Cornell University.
Through 3 years of college hockey he also showed good productivity and was ready to leave school for his chance to turn pro in 2014/2015.
The 24-year old was slated to compete for a spot on the big league roster last season but post-concussion syndrome derailed that opportunity for the moment.
A late training camp cut for his two seasons in the system, he should make waves in the upcoming run.
Not bad for a Jacksonville, FL native.
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.
Finishing up his 10th pro season having only been signed to minor league contracts, undrafted defenseman Jared Nightingale(18) filled in the role of captain in his second year with Toledo Walleye quite nicely.
That is, until he was loaned to Chicago Wolves for two weeks, returned and quickly recalled for a couple months before joining them for the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
It would be little surprise to see the 34-year old score an invite a farm team’s camp in the forthcoming year and earn a deal.
The 6’3″ 205 lbs. blue liner plays a consistently punishing style that shows little signs of slowing down.
Known to drop the mitts on many occasions, his fighting majors were only down slightly to 11 playing in the two leagues.
He also could own the record for most AHL clubs a single player has put on a uniform for at 10.
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.