6th year right wing Evan Brophey(20) was an unrestricted free agent at the end of 2012 and with no offers and the NHL lockout looming had to find a home for the new season.
Originally a Chicago Blackhawks‘ 3rd round pick in the 2005 draft (#68 overall), he only appeared in one big league game with the team in 4 years and 3 last season with Colorado Avalanche. He has yet to convert for any points.
The 6’1″ 203 lbs. forward isn’t exactly a prolific scoring in the minors but in 407 regular season games he does have 67 goals and 94 assists.
Last season with Lake Erie Monsters, he matched a career high for points (39) and pocketed a best 18 goals, which led the squad in scoring.
Just as the 2012/2013 season started the 26-year old signed a pto with Portland Pirates. He was recently bumped up to an spc after 37 games (5 goals, 10 assists) to finish out the 2012/2013 campaign with them.
Even though he’s not exactly lighting it up as prolifically as he did last year, he’s still a gritty, invaluable player for the Pirates to have in the fold as they push towards the postseason.
Original story: 2/23-13
He would play 61 games with Portland Pirates scoring 8 goals and 15 assists with a -2 rating but failed to connect in three postseason match-ups.
For the 2013/2014 season he decided to switch shores signing a one-year deal with EC Red Bull Salzburg of Erste Bank Eishockey Liga.
Definitely thought he would have a scoring surge but only managed 12 goals and 12 assists in 43 games but did pot a goal and 4 assists in 14 playoff contests.
His stats were good enough to move up a rung on the European hockey ladder as he inked for his next campaign in Germany’s top league DEL with EHC Red Bull Munchen. He would do well with 5 goals and 13 assists but was limited to only 28 games.
As he goes into his 9th pro season, the 28-year old returns to Austria joining Graz 99ers. We expect another point total uptick for the former Plymouth Whalers’ OHL Champion.
In his 10th season, veteran goaltender Jason Bacashihua(35) was originally a 1st round draft pick in 2001 for Dallas Stars (#26 overall) but they never played a game in net for them.
After a couple of not so successful seasons with their AHL team, Utah Grizzlies he was traded to St. Louis Blues and tended goal for Worcester IceCats for a season and Peoria Rivermen before getting his chance in the NHL.
He didn’t exactly step up at the opportunity and his stock dropped causing him to get traded to Colorado Avalanche for a bag of rocks.
Two calendars years later he signs a one-year deal with the always fantastic Hershey Bears and posted his first winning record since 2005/2006.
From here he starts his vagabond journey signing another deal and a great year for him later with Colorado. He backstops their AHL affiliate Lake Erie Monsters with a winning record and career highs in GAA 2.29 and SV% .917 and he’s on a roll at 28-years old.
He signed another one-year deal with Philadelphia Flyers but has and probably will only play with Adirondack Phantoms in the AHL. But once again, he’s winning more games than losing with decent GAA and SV%.
Original story: 1/24-12
After three seasons tending net in DEL for Straubing Tigers playing 137 games with a 2.80 GAA and a .911 SV% the soon-to-be 33 year old has decided to switch things up and moves on to Slovak Extraliga joining HC Banska Bystrica for 2015/2016.
It will be his 14th professional season.
5th year right wing Brandon Yip(32) appeared in his first NHL game of the 2013/2014 with his new team, Phoenix Coyotes.
The unrestricted free agent signed a one-year, two-way deal after spending a season and a half with Nashville Predators.
He was originally a Colorado Avalanche 8th round pick in the 2004 draft (#239 overall) and inked a one-year entry level deal and extended for another two seasons.
After posting no points in 10 games he was dispatched to their minor league affiliate Lake Erie Monsters but never made it before getting claimed off waivers by the Predators.
The 6’1″ 198 lbs. forward was able to pick up his scoring pace but still fell short of the even modest numbers he notched in his first two campaigns.
The 28-year old has already been reassigned and recalled 6 times in the early going and skated in his first AHL games since 2009 with the parent club’s farm team Portland Pirates.
In 2 appearances he has a quick 2 assists to his credit.
Original story: 10/23-13
After a pair of games with Phoenix, he was reassigned back to the farm team and spent the entire season in the minors scoring 14 goals and 20 assists with a -22 rating.
Heading into 2014/2015 he was an invite to Anaheim Ducks‘ training camp but released and inked a contract with affiliate Norfolk Admirals, where he skated 31 games getting 3 goals, 9 assists and a -11 rating.
He was reassigned for the first time in his pro career down to Utah Grizzlies and stuck around for 7 ECHL games before seeking to be released from his contract.
Within a couple of days he signed with Adler Mannheim, finished out the regular season and skated the entire playoffs of 14 games recording 4 assists to help the team to a DEL Championship.
They liked what they saw, because the 30-year old will be back for more in 2015/2016, his 7th year pro.
6th year right wing Harrison Reed(19) has decided it’s time to go try his game overseas joining up with Eispiraten Crimmitschau of DEL2, the second tier pro hockey league in Germany.
He’s coming off a season of career highs with Stockton Thunder of the ECHL. In 46 games he put up 21 goals and 24 assists. It was his first time hitting the 20/20 club. He also added another 9 tallies and 11 helpers in 23 Kelly Cup Playoff games getting the team all the way to the finals before falling.
Originally a Carolina Hurricanes‘ 3rd round pick in the 2006 draft (#93 overall), he signed a 3-year entry level deal and joined their then affiliate Albany River Rats for 119 games before being involved in a trade that made him property of Colorado Avalanche for the last season of his contract.
He joined Lake Erie Monsters for 2010/2011 but was also reassigned for about half the time to Tulsa Oilers of the Central Hockey League.
The 6’1″ 192 lbs. forward plays with bigger size than his measurements might indicate but was never really able to connect in the AHL, where in 208 games he has 11 goals and 16 assists but is a terrible -39 overall.
For his first season as an unrestricted free agent he signed a contract to play with Toledo Walleye but also received a pair of call-ups to Houston Aeros and the familiar Lake Erie team. He would also rejoin them again last season for 14 contests.
The 25-year should be able to continue his domination on the score sheet, which may bring him back to North America or help continue his rise in Europe.
Original story: 8/1-13
After a year in the 2nd tier German league potting an astounding 40 goals and 50 assists in 54 games and another 27 points in 17 playoff contests, he was awarded forward of the year title for his efforts.
He decided to make the jump up to DEL signing with Straubing Tigers and came back down to earth with 25 points in 50 games.
For 2015/2016 he circles back to DEL2 inking for a season with Dresdner Eislowen.
At 27-years old now he very well could explode on the score sheet once again and look to move on to a different country’s top league.
Colorado Avalanche‘ undrafted Croatian-born rookie right wing Borna Rendulic(71) became the first player from his country ever to sign a big league contract, play in a game and get an NHL goal in only his fourth appearance.
He inked a two-year entry level deal after first having participated in pro games as a youngster in his native land and Austria before moving up to the top ranks of Finland’s SM-liiga, doing decently in two seasons with HPK.
He played a lot of his junior hockey in the country before getting a contract with a team so was on their radar but he continues to train a home and still participates in all their tournament play.
At 6’3″ 199 lbs. the forward obviously dominates play in these games.
After his first parent club development and training camps, he started his pro career in North American on reassignment to affiliate Lake Erie Monsters.
There he has 4 goals and 4 assists in 26 AHL games, which isn’t exactly amazing but they must be seeing something right in his skating because he was initially recalled for three games with no points and then called back for another look where he potted his first.
He does use that large frame to play a thumping style and does throw the puck at the net on at least a couple of occasions each contest.
Regardless of how long this lasts and hopefully it will for a long while, the 22-year old has already made hockey history.
Colorado Avalanche 3rd year undrafted left wing was signed to a 2-year entry level deal after being on the radar under contract with minor league affiliate Lake Erie Monsters for his rookie season.
Despite putting up stellar numbers in juniors, the small 5’9″ 187 lbs. forward went roughly undetected by clubs potentially because of his size but only they really know.
He continued his scoreboard success leading his AHL squad in points, assists and plus/minus in his first year.
He basically ran duplicate numbers in his sophomore run but was a fairly terrible -12 on a struggling team.
The 23-year old is in the final year of his big league contract and set to become a restricted free agent.
Well, once again he came out of the gate lighting the lamp in his third campaign with the farm club (3 goals, 5 assists in 14 games).
Good enough to earn him a recall for a game in the show.
He skated 14 shifts for 9:45 of total ice time and got his first NHL point with an assist on the first goal in the 4-3 shootout victory.
He also put up one shot and was a +1 rating.
Despite his good play and the team win he was sent back down as the injured healed well enough to play.
No doubt he’ll earn another shot.
See related: 1/25-13
4th year unrestricted free agent right wing Kenny Ryan(25) was offered a training camp invite via Colorado Avalanche but was released pretty early in the running.
He wound up reporting to their minor league affiliate Lake Erie Monsters‘ camp and earned his way onto their opening night roster, so at the very least he’s signed to a pto (for now).
The former Toronto Maple Leafs‘ 2nd round pick in the 2009 draft (#50 overall) skated three years in their system but never seemed to materialize.
Through 125 AHL games, he scored a not so dynamic 15 goals and 23 assists with their minor league affiliate Toronto Marlies.
In 23 Calder Cup Playoff games the 6′ 200 lbs. forward added a goal and four helpers with a promising +5 rating.
He certainly comes from a place where he’s been a winner and able to put the puck in the net on a regular basis playing a pair of seasons with Windsor Spitfires of the OHL and capturing both the OHL Championship and Memorial Cup in the same year ’09/’10, and before that two years in the NAHL development with U.S. National Team.
The 23-year old is off to a career year start posting 3 goals and 2 assists with a +3 plus/minus is 8 games.
With stats that good, he may just play himself into another NHL contract.
Undrafted 23-year old, would be third year left wing Frederick Roy(91), son of Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy, has decided it’s time to hang up the skates.
Having signed a pair of successive AHL contracts with Rochester Americans and being without a solid deal going into 2014/2015, he probably was unwilling to move down to the ECHL to see what could materialize.
Also, possible there were little offers from Europe as well.
Regardless, the somewhat small 5’10” 170 lbs. forward with a ton of well-documented feistines (he’s credited with 10 fighting majors last season) stops playing much too soon.
He showed much potential scoring and checking line promise, especially in his fourth season in the QMJHL with Quebec Ramparts.
The word on his wiki suggests he’s decided it’s time to go back to school.
We still wish him well and of course, he comes from good hockey stock so we probably haven’t heard the last of him.
Undrafted 5th year defenseman Jake Newton(17) has played AHL games in each of his three seasons on this side of the pond.
The pretty sizable 6’3″ 200 lbs. offensive-minded blue liner had a real solid showing through 18 games (2 goals, 6 assists) with a very young Bridgeport Sound Tigers‘ team.
Once again though, he splits for Italy, moving it up a notch with Gherdeina of Italy’s top league Serie A.