Hey Pasta? How’s that black eye?
Boston Bruins‘ David Pastrnak(88) took a high stick up to the face recently and is sporting the shiner.
We think he’ll add to his new career high 34 goals, 36 assists and 70 points in the playoffs despite the injury.
The soon-to-be 21-year old has his entry level deal come up this year and becomes a restricted free agent who’s likely to assume a nice pay bump.
Buffalo Sabres‘ 7th round pick in the 2012 draft (#193 overall), extra big 6’4″ 234 lbs. 3rd year defenseman Brady Austin(67) had a strong NHL debut skating 27 shifts for 15:37 total ice with 3 shots, 2 penalty minutes and 1 hit in a 2-1 win.
The upcoming restricted free agent had a pair of 20, one 20+ year as an overage skater in the OHL but is most considered a strong, stay-at-home style blue liner.
He’s played 199 AHL games with affiliate Rochester Americans scoring 5 goals and 25 assists on a squad that will miss the playoffs for a third straight season with him in the ranks.
The soon-to-be 24-year old is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of 2016/2017, when his entry level deal expires but it looks like almost a sure bet to pick up at least a one-year extension to continue.
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.
Toronto Maple Leafs‘ 3rd year right wing Josh Leivo(32) has scored himself recalls in each of his seasons in the prospect system.
He had a bit of a down tick in goals and points (11-32) in his sophomore campaign but did slightly outpace his previous efforts in assists (21) in fewer appearances.
The power forward style player also skated a couple more games (9) with the parent club last season and got himself another NHL goal in the process.
Off to a super-hot start with affiliate Toronto Marlies, in 35 AHL games he already has equal to his goals from 2014/2015 with 11 and 19 assists, which looks to easily beat his previous high mark.
He was recently summoned for his first game of 2015/2016 with the big club and played 16 shifts for 10:58 of total ice with 2 shots on net, 1 hit and 2:37 of power play time.
With injuries to starters, he could find himself staying up for some extended time, especially if he can produce on the score sheet.
The 22-year old is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the current campaign and will likely be a no brainer to extend for at least another look.
Ottawa Senators‘ undrafted 2nd year right wing Casey Bailey(37) skated his first big league contest since playing 6 games with Toronto Maple Leafs after finishing up an outstanding third year at Penn State University and subsequently signing a 2-year entry level deal.
In 6 games to wrap up the 2014/2015 season he would score his first NHL goal.
Reassigned to start his rookie campaign with affiliate Toronto Marlies, he scored 4 goals and 14 assists in 38 AHL match-ups but was involved in a major trade that sent him to Canada’s state capital for the remainder of 2015/2016.
Taking up where he left off in the minors, he would better his scoring output with 7 goals and another 14 assists for Binghamton Senators.
A late training camp cut, he rejoined the Baby Sens to start 2016/2017 with a brand new 1-year extension and looks to eclipse his first year scoring marks with already 9 tallies in 25 games.
The hot start has earned him a first recall.
In his debut he skated 13 shifts for 8:35 minutes of ice time with one shot on net and one takeaway.
The 25-year old looks to be just getting started.
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‘ 10th year Czech Republic-born defenseman Jakub Kindl(4) is in the final year of a four-year extension he signed in 2013/2014 with draft team Detroit Red Wings (1st round 2005, #19 overall).
He was traded late last season after 8.5 seasons in Michigan.
The fairly large 6’3″ 198 lbs. blue liner has never been the biggest point producer, playing a bit more of a stay-at-home style.
He was mostly on a slingshot recalled and reassigned between minor league affiliate Grand Rapid Griffins and the parent club for most of his time in the Wings‘ system but did skate exclusively in the NHL from 2011-2014.
After being dealt, he appeared in only big league games and one playoff match-up but was sent to farm club Springfield Thunderbirds to start 2016/2017.
The 29-year old is a veteran of 292 games in the show with a nice +25 rating and 256 AHL games with a not so nice -59.
It’s a bit doubtful he’ll score a new contract for next season unless he shows some remarkable uptick in his play and could easily head back to the Czech Extraliga, where he was part of 27 games with HC Pardubice for the lockout of 2012/2013 and also played some of his junior hockey.
4th year left wing Lucas Lessio(14) was left unqualified by Montreal Canadiens heading into restricted free agency after being dealt a couple of months into 2015/2016 from draft team Arizona Coyotes.
The decently big power forward was given a training camp invite by Los Angeles Kings but released to affiliate Ontario Reign to continue.
A week later he was released from his pto.
Tough to say where things went south for the former high draft selection after a good rookie season with an AHL career high 29 goals and 25 assists for 54 points with Portland Pirates, then 26 NHL games and another good run in the minors.
Maybe it was his on ice accountability, which sits at a -11 in the big league and a very lousy -38 rating with three different farm clubs.
The former 2009 OHL Champion and 2011 Hlinka Memorial Tournament Gold Medal winner with Team Canada didn’t take long to pick up a new deal after a series of unsuccessful tryouts.
The 23-year old heads overseas on a one-year deal with Medvescak Zagreb of the KHL in hopes to turn the corner.
11th year Khazakhstan-born goaltender Anton Khudobin(34) circles back returning to Boston Bruins on a new 2-year deal.
He was last with the team on a trade at the 2011/2012 deadline and was sent to affiliate Providence Bruins for the remainder of the calendar.
After signing a 2-year contract to remain, he assume starting net minder duties in the AHL, while only appearing in one big league game.
The agile 5’11” 185 lbs. back stop began the lockout shortened final season of his deal back in the KHL, where he started his pro career in 2006/2007 with 16 games for Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
He also played his junior hockey with the squad.
Signing until the big league restarted with Atlant Mytishchi, he would assume his first full-time back-up duties getting 14 NHL games in the shortened campaign.
His next stop would take him to Carolina Hurricanes on a one-year deal and he played in a career high 36 games, then receive a two-year extension to stay put but was traded to Anaheim Ducks for the second season of the contract, where he was caught in a glut of starting net minders and spent all but 9 games with affiliate San Diego Gulls.
The 30-year old should split duties nicely on his second tour with the black & gold and give the team confidence in their “new” backstop.
7th year right wing Ben Smith(21) didn’t have to wait too long before Colorado Avalanche picked up the unrestricted free agent’s option for 2016/2017, signing him to a one-year, two-way deal.
For the first time since being drafted by Chicago Blackhawks as a 6th round pick in 2008 (#169 overall), he’s set to join his third team since halfway through the 2014/2015 season.
Traded at the deadline to San Jose Sharks from the team he’d spent the previous 5+ years with and won the 2013 Stanley Cup, he skated 19 NHL games scoring 2 goals and 3 assists with a +3 rating but after 6 contests in the follow-up campaign with no points found himself reassigned to affiliate San Jose Barracuda.
After 14 games in the minors exploding the score sheet (8 goals, assists), he was once again dealt at the deadline to Toronto Maple Leafs.
They would keep him on the roster through 16 games registering 2 goals and 4 assists with another +3 rating but sent to farm club Toronto Marlies in their quest for a first Calder Cup trophy.
Despite their best efforts, they were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The 28-year old, two-time NCAA Championship winner with Boston College Eagles will likely see more playing time in the big league with the young squad but also could be named captain of affiliate San Antonio Rampage to help guide the prospects.