Vancouver Canucks‘ 5th round pick in the 2011 draft (#150 overall) defenseman Frank Corrado(26) has been under contract with the club for a couple of years now but only played a full slate of pro games this past season.
He first appeared in a few AHL games (2 assists) with then affiliate Chicago Wolves and from there jumped up to play his first 3 NHL contests with the parent club and was impressive enough to appear 4 times in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The 6’1″ 191 lbs. blue liner started his official rookie season on reassignment with the expansion farm team Utica Comets but just before the new year was recalled and that set a path for 3 more trips to the show.
He ended his first campaign with 15 games in the big league. In this time he connected with his first goal.
Through 59 games with the Comets, he had 6 goals and 11 assists.
In four years of junior hockey in the OHL he was a pretty good set up guy that with continued digging could become a regular contributor to the score sheet.
The 21-year old’s entry level contract runs through 2015 and could very well spend most of his time in his sophomore season in the NHL.
Original story: 6/2-14
He started the final year of his initial deal on the parent club but it was only because he sustained an injury. As soon as he was healthy enough he was reassigned to Utica Comets.
That lasted only a few appearances as he was recalled, but it took him two more trips to the big club before he would see any action.
Upon being inserted into the lineup he stayed in for 7 games and connected with another NHL goal before waiting another month or so on the sidelines to get back on the ice.
He would finish skating about 15 shifts for roughly an average of 15 minutes per contest but was a bit of a shabby -7 on a team that didn’t qualify for the postseason.
Only 10 days into restricted free agency the soon-to-be 4th year forward signed for another one-year two-way extension to continue the progress.
At only 22-years old he’s pegged to make the ‘Nucks out of training camp and would have to clear waivers at this point, so it may be now or never and they are looking now.
Edmonton Oilers‘ 8th year undrafted right wing Steve Pinizzotto(13) got his first NHL goal recently after appearing in 34 games over the last three years.
He added his second tally a month later to go along with a pair of assists he notched in one game earlier in 2014/2015, and now has new career highs for goals and points but will need to add another helper to pass his previous mark set in only 6 games late last season.
The 6’1″ 205 lbs. forward plays a gritty power forward style that has been fairly successful in the minors.
In 9 AHL games to start the current campaign with affiliate Oklahoma City Barons, he has no goals but a pretty nice 6 assists.
His best seasons in the league were 40+ efforts in 2010 & 2011 with Hershey Bears, while under contract with Washington Capitals.
He also won consecutive Calder Cup Championships with them in 2009 & 2010.
If he can continue to contribute there is little reason to believe the 30-year old won’t stick around on a team that could use some swagger.
He has easily worked hard for any inch of ice his been given and was the first player out of Rochester Institute Of Technology to sign a big league deal.
Original story: 12/27-14
He would stay with the big club for another month before being returned to the farm team but managed to play in a career high 18 games (36 total) getting a 2nd goal and 2 assists, both new bests.
The now 31-year old was likely looking at a decent contract in the minors for 2015/2016 but has chosen to take his game elsewhere signing a one-year deal with EHC Red Bull Munchen of DEL.
It may not be out of the question to see him put up some big numbers overseas.
Recalled to skate a few games near the conclusion of the 2013/2014 season, he finally netted his first NHL goal before being returned to farm club St. John’s IceCaps for their incredible Calder Cup Playoff run that took the team all the way to the Finals.
He would sign a one-year extension to stay on but still played almost exclusively with their minor league affiliate until he was once again summoned for another pair of games.
As it turned out, his short stint with the big club may have been merely a showcase for a trade.
He was sent to New York Rangers‘ prospect system on the day before the deadline and finished out 2014/2015 with Hartford Wolf Pack, where he would finish the season with a career high 24 assists, 180 shots on goal and 45 penalty minutes.
He also recorded a best 4 postseason tallies in 13 games.
The 24-year was once again entering a restricted free agency but has decided it’s time to take his game elsewhere and signed a two-year deal with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod of the KHL through 2016/2017.
Vancouver Canucks‘ 6th round pick in the 2009 draft (#173 overall) goalie Joe Cannata(35) finds himself in a bit of a logjam to find any time between the pipes with their minor league affiliate Utica Comets.
The Massachusetts-born net minder is on a one-year contract extension with the parent club and will start down a notch on the pro ladder with Ontario Reign.
He’s played in the league before, appearing in 7 ECHL games in his rookie campaign.
The 6’1″ 200 lbs. backstop spent the entirety of 2013/2014 in the AHL posting a respectable 11-12 record with a 2.83 GAA and .907 SV% on a mostly shaky team.
He also played in 14 games with then farm team Chicago Wolves in his first year and had even slightly better numbers.
The 24-year old played four seasons at Divison 2 Merrimack College putting up stellar totals.
He’ll definitely have to work hard to get back on the radar.
Original story: 10/11-14
The now 25-year old gets another one year extension as Vancouver Canucks look to open up the starter job for affiliate Utica Comets with a goaltender trade before 2015/2016 season starts.
He spent most of his 3rd year in the ECHL with Ontario Reign but was impressive with a 12-6 record and 2.02 GA and .927 SV% in the regular campaign and then he went 4-4 with a 2.33 GA, .904 SV% and a pair of shutouts in the Kelly Cup Playoffs before being eliminated in the Western Conference Final.
In his AHL 2014/2015 season he was a pretty sharp 3-2 with a 1.99 GA and .932 SV% and joined the team as back up through the Calder Cup Final round.
From here it will be interesting to see what he does with a full season workload for the farm club if he gets it. He could easily put himself in a good spot for a first NHL recall.
Undrafted, soon-to-be 2nd year defenseman Brad Hunt(2) receives a 2-year 2-way entry level deal from Edmonton Oilers after a solid rookie year on an AHL contract with Chicago Wolves.
He’s small at just 5’9″ 188 lbs. but the blue liner connected for 4 goals and 29 assists in 65 games and added another goal and 3 assists in 5 playoff contests. He also played in the 2013 AHL All-Star Game and got a goal on his only shot on net to help the Western Conference to a 7-6 victory.
He first appeared in 14 games with the Wolves on an ato after completing his college career at Bemidji State University, where he showed the ability to put up points. He got his 1st pro goal and 4 assists.
The 24-year old will be in training camp and likely start the 2013/2014 campaign with their minor league affiliate Oklahoma City Barons but with continued good play should be on the short list for a call-up, look.
Original story: 7/8-13
Since inking his first major contract, he has continued to perform better with each season and received a longer stint from the parent club in 2014/2015 playing 11 NHL games and scoring his first goal (to go along with a pair of assists). He has appeared in 14 total big league contests.
Now 26-years old, scored a career high 19 AHL goals and 51 points, then added another 3 tallies and 7 helpers in 10 postseason matchups with Oklahoma City Barons in the campaign that just finished.
With a freshly signed one-year extension he should get a longer look from the Oilers.
Undrafted forward Nathan Longpre(9) had quite the rookie season in 2011/2012.
The 24-year old went from an invite to Vancouver Canucks‘ prospect and training camps to their minor league affiliate Chicago Wolves main camp before signing a deal with the team to start his pro career.
Then from seemingly out of nowhere, he was traded to Springfield Falcons in a minor league deal for future considerations after posting 8 goals and 10 assists in 39 games, while going a +8 plus/minus.
He trailed off to a meager 3 goals in 20 more regular season games after the swap but as luck would have it (and his status being that of an unrestricted free agent), the Wolves came a-knocking once again, inking him to an another AHL contract to pick up where he left off with the team for his second campaign.
No word whether the 6’2″ 195 lbs. player will garner another invite to join the Canucks as they train for the upcoming season but seems like that should be a likely scenario.
See related post: 3/31-2011
Original story: 8/18-12
He would spend another pair of seasons in the Wolves‘ organization signing one year extensions to stay on and played the full 2013/2014 with the club, but last year split his time skating 28 AHL games and 33 in the ECHL with affiliate Kalamazoo Wings, where found the net for 10 goals and 17 assists.
The soon-to-be 27-year old is off to find a new hockey home leaving North America for Norway’s Lorenskog.
He should have an easy time finding his score touch to be amongst the leaders in league scoring.
It’s been a few years since 7th year veteran center Andrew Gordon(10) had the hot hand in the playoffs. He did for back-to-back 2009 & 2010 Calder Cup Championships with Hershey Bears (19 goals, 13 assists in 39 games).
The 28-year old may be back on the scoring track in the 2014 postseason, as he posted a hat trick in the first round series’ clincher and followed in with another marker in game 1 of the semi-finals, giving him 4 tallies and a helper in 7 contests for his current team, St. John’s IceCaps.
The assistant captain signed a one-year, two-way deal with Winnipeg Jets for 2013/2014 and played the entire slate of 76 AHL games without a call-up, his first season without at least one appearance in the show since 2008/2009 with Washington Capitals.
See related: 2/28-12
Original story 5/7-14
After going to the Calder Cup Finals with the IceCaps‘ he signed a one-year two-way deal with Philadelphia Flyers on the second day of free agency.
Once again he was in the parent club’s training camp but reassigned early and played the complete 76 AHL game slate with new affiliate Lehigh Valley Phantoms without receiving a recall.
He did ok scoring 18 goals and 24 assists on a team that teetered on the .500 mark for most of the season.
With what looks to be diminishing opportunities to skate games in the show, the 29-year old has decided to take his scoring threat over to Europe and gets a one-year deal with Linkoping of the SHL.
After four seasons in the St. Louis Blues‘ prospect system right wing Tyler Shattock(16) was not given a qualifying offer to continue with the team after putting up career best assists (16) and points (20) in the AHL with affiliate Chicago Wolves.
Originally a 4th round pick in the 2009 draft (#108 overall), he skated his first three seasons with then farm team Peoria Rivermen but was unable to replicate the numbers he achieved in four campaigns of the WHL, where he put up back-to-back more than a point-per-game totals first with Kamloops Blazers, then finishing out juniors with Calgary Hitmen.
The fairly big 6’3″ 200 lbs. forward was likely looking around for another contract but with no takers signed a one year minor league deal with Stockton Thunder and he has exploded on the score sheet.
He was already at least a bit familiar with the ECHL when he was reassigned for a brief stint early in 2012 with Evansville Icemen. Wasting little time connecting with the back of the net he scored 3 goals and 2 assists in 3 games and was quickly recalled.
Again, he got right to work with his new club and through 63 games has a team second 23 goals and a leading 39 assists and 62 points, while firing 141 shots on net and a new high 99 penalty minutes.
He was loaned temporarily for three games to Worcester Sharks earlier in the season but played more of an energy line, checking role and came away with no points.
The 25-year seems like he should be higher up on the hockey ladder than he is currently but it may be a better bet for him to take his game overseas for 2015/2016.
Pittsburgh Penguins‘ 7th year defenseman Taylor Chorney(44) spent the last pair of seasons exclusively in the minors while under contract with St. Louis Blues.
Previously he’d skated in at least a couple contests each campaign, and spent over half of 2009/2010 with draft team Edmonton Oilers (2005 round 2, #35 overall). He’s appeared in 65 NHL games scoring a goal and 5 assists.
The 6’1″ 201 lbs. blue liner has reached 20+ points in the AHL five times, including his 4 goals and 16 assists mark this season.
He’s received a pair of recalls and played in 4 games, increasing his time on ice to 24 shifts for 15:24, including 1:38 on the power play and 2 shots on net, 2 hits and one break up.
The 27-year old is only signed through the end of the season but could extended to stick around in eastern Pennsylvania.
Portland Pirates‘ 5th year left wing Eric Selleck(25) plays an almost unassuming tough guy style.
He’s had 12 fighting majors in 63 AHL games but also has a career tying 6 goals and best 13 assists with a +3 rating and a likely to increase 164 penalty minutes.
At 6’2″ 220 lbs. he’s definitely big enough to hold his own against just about anyone but will probably not eclipse the 200+ minutes he put up in his first two seasons.
He had a battler 28 bouts as a rookie a personal best/worst 214 minutes in the box.
After a couple of seasons putting up points at SUNY-Oswego, Florida Panthers signed the unrestricted free agent to a 2-year entry level deal and extended it twice before trading him in a farm squad deal to St. Louis Blues.
He managed to get himself a single NHL recall from the Panthers and got tossed in his debut for instigating a fight that caused him to wobble off ice.
He would remain up with the team but waited over another month for his next appearance, in which he put up his first point, an assist.
Without a contract for 2014/2015, he signed a minor league contract and has found himself a not so bad possibly temporary home in Maine.