Despite playing in 61 games with the big club in his first two years of his term scoring 3 goals and 18 assists with a +16 rating, he was only recalled once in 2015/2016.
As an unrestricted free agent, he decided to see what was out there and inked with Pittsburgh Penguins but stayed for the full campaign with farm club Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, where he recorded a new career high 17 assists and 19 points in 63 AHL games.
He decided to stay in Pennsylvania for a follow-up and was rewarded with 11 games getting an assist but more importantly continued to stay accountable with a +2.
The 31-year old maybe surprisingly found himself being dealt to Toronto Maple Leafs at the trade deadline and finished out the season that included a new best 11 postseason contests.
His new squad must have looked at his outstanding +87 mark in the minors, when giving him his contract and may even see him as the perfect depth guy to insert into the lineup as necessary.
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Undrafted, 3rd year defenseman Steve Oleksy(15) signed a pto joining the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers in October after starting the year in the ECHL with Idaho Steelheads, a team he’s played with in each of his pro years (110 total games).
He was returned after a couple of weeks but then recalled again in late November and signed an spc in late February to stay for the remainder of the season including their brief Calder Cup Playoffs‘ bid.
In 50 AHL games he had very decent point totals (a goal and 14 assists) and was an outstanding +16 plus/minus guarding the defensive zone.
The 6′ 195 lbs. also showed a willingness to mix it up when called upon.
Where the 26-year old blue liner will end up next season is anyone’s guess?
He wasn’t available to be put on Steelheads‘ protected list for 2012/2013.
The Sound Tigers should just be smart, sign him to another one-way deal for the upcoming season and be done with it.
In the meantime, he’s back home in Michigan running the Eastside Elite Hockey League, which is a summer program for pros and juniors wanting to stay game-situation sharp by skating in an 11-team non-check league.