More Phantoms Roster News: Depth Charts and International Movement

phantoms

As suspected, the Flyers organization has continued to add players and depth in preparation for the 2015-2016 hockey season.  Since my post last week, they’ve added Colin McDonald, a veteran right-winger who played last season for the Sound Tigers and Islanders.  They also added a veteran netminder in Jason LaBarbera, who was with Norfolk and Anaheim last season.  The signings effectively ended the tenure of fan-favorite goalie Rob Zepp and forward Andrew Johnston, who became free agents.  Also of note, defenceman Matt Konan was not tendered a contract, and also became a free agent.

In the comment section of the last post, in case you haven’t checked back, some excellent analysis from der Eishockeyzuschauer–frequent commentator and sometimes “Loose Cannon:”

 

I was seeing the Phantoms pre-camp roster pretty much the same way you were … and then, low and behold, the Philadelphia Flyers organization signed another forward and another goaltender (as well as their 2015 first round draft pick) in the past two days since this article was posted!

Starting up front and taking things from the top, I see the Philadelphia Flyers carrying fourteen forwards to start the season — Giroux, Voracek, Simmonds, Gagner, Couturier, Read, Raffl, Umberger, Lecavalier, B. Schenn, VandeVelde, Bellemare, White and a 14th forward yet to be determined. I think the Flyers would like to sign another NHL-caliber forward but it also could be one of the players who, at this point, appear to be heading for Lehigh Valley.

Colin McDonald, the 30-year-old veteran right wing from Providence College who had 35 points (14 goals) in 40 AHL games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and eight points (two goals) in 18 NHL games for the New York Islanders last season, could be that fourteenth forward. If not, then McDonald, who spent the entire 2013/14 season in the NHL with the Islanders (70 ga, 8 go, 18 pts) before appearing with the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Championships, should be one of the Phantoms’ more reliable performers.

Aaron Palushaj, the 26-year-old winger who was once a First Team All-America (West) as a sophomore at the Univ of Michigan and a second round NHL Draft pick of the St. Louis Blues, should be intriguing. The speedy Palushaj had 160 points (66 goals) in 192 AHL games in parts of the last four seasons before heading to Europe. Palushaj was a member of the United States squad that won a bronze medal at the 2013 IIHF World Championships – just the third American team since 1962 to earn any kind of medal (all bronze) at the annual WC tournament.

At this point, I would project Cole Bardreau, the 21-year-old undrafted free agent out of Cornell Univ who is rather responsible defensively, to be among Lehigh Valley’s top nine forwards along with McDonald, Conner, Brent, Palushaj, Cousins, Laughton, Leier and Straka (who really needs to improve on that horrible -20 plus/minus rating he had last year).

The rest of the forwards do not necessarily excite me. Danick Martel did some nice things after joining the Phantoms late last season, but the 20-year-old’s severe lack of size (5’8″ 160 lbs) is troubling. But Derek Mathers (40 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 147 penalty minutes) is nothing more than a goon who belongs in the ECHL. And Brandon Alderson had underwhelming numbers (35 ga, 7 go, 15 pts, – 5 plus/minus) for the Reading Royals after being demoted by Lehigh Valley.

Tyrell Goulbourne skated last season as a 20-year-old overage junior and, what’s worse, was all but invisible (12 ga, 1 go, 2 pts) in the playoffs. Pavel Padakin has good size (6’3″ 210 lbs) but also skated last season in the Canadians junior system as an overage player. Both players should probably start in the ECHL with Reading.

As a side note, former Phantoms forward Andrew Gordon has signed with Swedish elite league outfit HC Linkoping.

 

As the Flyers begin to re-tool from the net out, the Phantoms should be the beneficiary of some highly talented defenders over the next few seasons.  I don’t have much else to add to the der Eishockeyzuschauer analysis:

 

Moving onto to the defensemen, I see the Philadelphia Flyers carrying seven defensemen to start the season — Streit, MacDonald, Medvedev, L. Schenn, Schultz, Gudas and a 7th defender yet to be determined.

The Flyers just signed their 2015 1st round draft pick to an entry level contract. Russian defenseman Ivan Provorov (6’0″ 200 lbs) is said to have outstanding stickhandling and playmaking skills; prior to the 2015 NHL Draft, many people said that Provorov was the “most NHL-ready” out of all the defensemen eligible to be drafted. Meanwhile, I find it significant that Provorov managed just one assist in seven games for Russia at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships last winter. So, I will wait to see how Provorov performs against senior professional players during Flyers training camp.

Two other young players, the skillful Shayne Gostisbehere (Philadelphia’s 3rd round pick in 2012) as well as the massive Samuel Morin (Flyers’ 1st round pick in 2014), will also be looking to win an NHL spot in training camp. And the veteran Brandon Manning, who had what was easily his best season as a professional both at the AHL and NHL levels, surely has his eyes on a roster spot with Philadelphia, too. Furthermore, the Flyers are unlikely to re-sign the restricted free agent Del Zotto but that doesn’t mean the organization won’t add one more NHL-caliber blueliner in the coming weeks.

Bottom line, as far as Lehigh Valley is concerned, is that the Phantoms defensive corps should be much more talented, as a whole, than last year’s crew. The addition of stay-at-home-type Davis Drewiske, the 30-year-old veteran from the Univ of Wisconsin who has a decent amount of NHL experience under his belt, seems to be a quality move. Although Drewiske has struggled to stay healthy virtually all of his professional career, the 220-pounder brings good size to the table and an impressive track record of being able to stay out of the penalty box (just 67 minutes in 135 career NHL games; only 28 minutes in 62 AHL games for Hamilton Bulldogs last season).

Drewiske was a + 15 with Hamilton last season; this, in stark contrast to the plus/minus figures posted by some of the Phantoms’ blueliners — Manning (- 13), Hagg (- 12), Alt (- 15), Comrie (- 21).

European teams are preparing to start their official pre-season training camps very soon (the continental Champions Hockey League competition starts on August 20th) so I think that if Jesper Pettersson was going to be playing in Sweden this season he would already be listed on an Elitserien club’s roster by now.

Defenseman Magnus Nygren, Drewiske’s teammate in Hamilton last season who had skated in the AHL All-Star Game during the 2013/14 campaign before earning a bronze medal with Sweden at the 2014 IIHF World Championships, has already returned to his old club BK Farjestad Karlstad. Forward Johan Sundstrom, the former 2nd round draft pick of the New York Islanders who had just seven goals and 19 pts in 72 AHL games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers last season, has already been gobbled up by HC Vastra Frolunda Gothenburg. Once highly touted goaltender Oskar Dansk, the former 2nd round NHL Draft pick (# 31 overall) who earned a silver medal for Sweden with Lehigh Valley Phantoms defenseman Robert Hagg at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships and appeared for both the Springfield Falcons in the AHL as well as for the Kalamazoo Wings in the ECHL last season, has already been sent out on loan by the Columbus Blue Jackets to BK Rogle Angelholm.

Depending upon how things shake out with the Philadelphia Flyers, the small but feisty Pettersson, who also on that Swedish team that won a silver medal at the 2014 IIHF WJC, could find himself in a real battle for an AHL roster spot with Christian Marti, the newcomer from Swiss club HC Servette Geneva … Marti (6’3″ 210 lbs) does have a major size advantage over Pettersson (5’9″ 187 lbs).

Maxim Lamarche is still under contract to the Philadelphia Flyers organization, but I see the third-year pro ticketed for Reading.

Still, even with the benefit of this further analysis, I have to admit my head is swimming a bit amid all of the player movement–both in and out as I try to learn about our new players and keep track of where our favorite players from last season are landing.  As I mentioned before, one of the resources I’ve been using is the “Big Board” over at WB-S’s “Chirps” site.  However, as the Phantoms’ signings started, I discovered a fatal flaw–European player movement isn’t represented well.  I went to look up new Phantoms forward Tim Brent, a name I’d heard before.  Surely he’d be in the “top 100” no mater how subjective.  However, he played in the Russian KHL last season and was overlooked.  With that in mind, another comment post by der Eishockeyzuschauer, tracking players who have left the AHL for Europe:

 

With all due respect to the “Big Board” of AHL Free Agents, to follow is a list of 38 players who skated at least ten games in the American Hockey League last season and have now signed with European clubs :

HERSHEY BEARS
75 ga … 59 pts … for – Tim Kennedy … to Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (Russia-KHL)
75 ga … 54 pts … for – Casey Wellman … to Spartak Moscow (Rus-KHL)
59 ga … 27 pts … def – Tomas Kundratek … to Dynamo Riga (Latvia-KHL)
13 ga ….. 2 pts … def – Michal Cajkovsky … to Sparta Prague (Czech Rep)

WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS
44 ga … 44 pts … for – Andrew Ebbett … to SC Bern (Switzerland)

HARTFORD WOLFPACK
64 ga … 41 pts … for – Carl Klingberg … to Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod (Rus-KHL)
25 ga ….. 5 pts … for – Ryan Potulny … to Reipas Lahti (Finland)

PORTLAND PIRATES
62 ga … 52 pts … for – Alexandre Bolduc … to Traktor Chelyabinsk (Rus-KHL)
48 ga … 18 pts … def – Evan Oberg … to Augsburg Panthers (Germany)
23 ga … 12 pts … def – Patrick McNeill … to ERC Ingolstadt (Ger)

SPRINGFIELD FALCONS
21 ga … 3.57 avg … g – Oscar Dansk … to BK Rogle Angelholm (Sweden)

BINGHAMTON SENATORS
33 ga ….. 9 pts … def – Daniel New … to EC Graz 99ers (Austria)

ST. JOHN’S ICECAPS
36 ga … 22 pts … for – Jason Jaffray … to EHC Red Bull Munich (Ger)
49 ga … 18 pts … def – Julien Brouillette … to HK Karlskrona (Swe)
40 ga ….. 2 pts … for – Brandon MacLean … to Ravensburg Towerstars (Ger.2)
21 ga ….. 2 pts … for – Patrick Holland … to HPK Hameenlinna (Fin)

LEHIGH VALLEY PHANTOMS
76 ga … 42 pts … for – Andrew Gordon … to HC Linkoping (Swe)

BRIDGEPORT SOUND TIGERS
54 ga … 21 pts … for – John Persson … to BK Farjestad Karlstad (Swe)
72 ga … 19 pts … for – Johan Sundstrom … to HC Vastra Frolunda (Swe)

UTICA COMETS
48 ga … 39 pts … for – Cory Conacher … to SC Bern (Switz)
41 ga … 2.53 avg … g – Joacim Eriksson … to Dynamo Riga (Lat-KHL)

SAN ANTONIO RAMPAGE
67 ga … 26 pts … def – Blake Parlett … to Medvescak Zagreb (Croatia-KHL)

ROCKFORD ICE HOGS
65 ga … 45 pts … for – Spencer Abbott … to HC Vastra Frolunda (Swe)

TEXAS STARS
63 ga … 35 pts … def – Derek Meech … to IF Malmo (Swe)

OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS
18 ga ….. 4 pts … for – Steve Pinizzotto … to EHC Red Bull Munich (Ger)

TORONTO MARLIES
60 ga … 23 pts … def – Brendan Mikkelson … to HF Lulea (Swe)
32 ga ….. 8 pts … for – Brad Ross … to Iserlohn Roosters (Ger)

CHICAGO WOLVES
59 ga … 17 pts … for – Colin Fraser … to Nuremberg Ice Tigers (Ger)
36 ga … 12 pts … for – Sebastian Wannstrom …. to BK Rogle Angelholm (Swe)
64 ga ….. 8 pts … def – Jari Hakanpaa … to Karpat Oulu (Fin)
39 ga ….. 7 pts … for – Benn Ferreiro … to EHC Red Bull Salzburg (Aut)
28 ga ….. 4 pts … for – Nathan Longpre … to IK Esbjerg (Denmark)

LAKE ERIE MONSTERS
62 ga … 16 pts … def – Markus Lauridsen … to AIK Stockholm (Swe)
16 ga … 3.19 avg … g – Sami Aittokallio … to Karpat Oulu (Fin)

HAMILTON BULLDOGS
26 ga … 2.77 avg … g – Joey MacDonald … to Schwenninger Wild Wings (Ger)
15 ga … 10 pts … def – Magnus Nygren … to BK Farjestad Karlstad (Swe)

ADIRONDACK FLAMES
65 ga … 12 pts … def – Nolan Yonkman … to JYP Jyvaskyla (Fin)

IOWA WILD
35 ga … 3.48 avg … g – Johan Gustafsson … to HC Vastra Frolunda (Swe)

A big thanks to der Eishockeyzuschauer for these contributions–I wanted to re-post them because I thought they were so good.  Finally, here’s a look at the players who will be participating in Flyers development camp starting this week in Voorhees:

DevelopmentCamp_v2 EDIT

Many of the newly-drafted players will be headed back to their Junior teams, their college teams, or possibly Europe.  However, it’s good to start becoming familiar with some of the young talent in the system.

..

See you at the arena,

@Kram209



Categories: Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Phantoms Hockey

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15 replies

  1. I inadvertently overlooked these three players; as it is, any list like this is bound to be a bit incomplete at this point because European teams are certainly not done signing players.

    ROCKFORD ICEHOGS
    69 ga … 41 pts … for – Peter Regin … to Jokerit Helsinki (Finland-KHL)

    TORONTO MARLIES
    23 ga … 11 pts … for – Brandon Kozun … to Jokerit Helsinki (Fin-KHL)

    TEXAS STARS
    39 ga … 2.53 avg … g – Jussi Rynnas … to Ak Bars Kazan (Russia-KHL)

  2. Must have shocked lots of folks to see Gordon bolt… still, smashing job from the Colonel!

    I couldn’t listen to Matt today… (a) it would have driven me nuts, depending on how often he would mention me as the back-to-back-homers contestant, and (b) I was with dad visiting an ailing relative, and even with the Walkman, it would have annoyed others…

    Do you have to contend with knuckleheads shooting off fireworks for days following the Fourth out there in the countryside, Kram?

  3. What can we ascertain about the Phantoms’ two new signings (Brent & Palushaj) from the Kontinental Hockey League? Well, we know that National Hockey League clubs have signed no fewer than nine Russian players from the KHL so far this summer and, thus, we can have a look at some statistics from last season, then. Eight of the nine Russian players in question are forwards and all eight have varying degrees of experience with the senior national team.

    62 pts … 26 go … 54 ga … Artem Panarin – SKA St. Petesburg … (CHI)
    36 pts … 15 go … 56 ga … Sergei Plotnikov – Lokomotiv Yaroslavl … (PITT)
    32 pts … 14 go … 57 ga … Nikita Soshnikov – Atlant Mytishchi … (TOR)
    26 pts … 10 go … 53 ga … Alexander Burmistrov – Ak Bars Kazan … (WPG)
    25 pts … 15 go … 58 ga … Anton Slepyshev – Salavat Yulayev Ufa … (EDM)
    25 pts … 12 go … 58 ga … Sergei Kalinin – Avangard Omsk … (NJ)
    24 pts ….. 8 go … 49 ga … Viktor Tikhonov – SKA St. Petersburg … (CHI)
    21 pts ….. 7 go … 53 ga … AARON PALUSHAJ – Zagreb / Yekaterinburg
    15 pts ….. 5 go … 42 ga … TIM BRENT – Metallug Magnitogorsk
    15 pts ….. 5 go … 47 ga …. Kirill Petrov – Ak Bars Kazan … (NYI)

    It should be remembered that Palushaj began the 2014/15 campaign with Medvescak Zagreb but switched to Russian side Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg in mid-season after the Croatian club suffered serious financial difficulties which resulted in players’ wages going unpaid.

    Metallurg Magnitogorsk were one of eight teams to reach the quarterfinal round of the 28-team Kontinental Hockey League playoffs; Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg were one of 16 teams to make the KHL playoffs (known as the Gagarin Cup, so named after the famous Soviet cosmonaut).

    Kirill Petrov is certainly not a lock to make the New York Islanders’ NHL roster, which means the 25-year-old winger could very well find himself coming to the PPL Center with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers this season.

    • The list of Russian players coming from the Kontinental Hockey League who have been signed by National Hockey League clubs this summer has reached ten now that the Nashville Predators have gotten their 2nd round pick (# 41 overall) from the 2014 NHL Draft under contract :

      10 pts … 6 go … 41 ga … Vladimir Kamenev – Metallurg Magnitogorsk … (NASH)

      The 6’2″ 203-pound Kamenev was teammates with projected Lehigh Valley Phantoms veteran forward Tim Brent in the KHL last season … Kamenev has one goal and four points in seven games for silver medalist Russia at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships last winter … The 18-year-old Kamenev is a good bet to begin the season in the American Hockey League with the Milwaukee Admirals, a team that the Phantoms did not play last season and will likely not see again this season either.

  4. The list of those appearing in at least 10 American Hockey League games last season who have now signed contracts to start the 2015/16 campaign in Europe has reached 45 total players following last week’s transactions :

    CHICAGO WOLVES
    26 pts … 8 go … 58 ga … for – Terry Broadhurst … to AIK Skelleftea (Sweden)

    ST. JOHN’S ICECAPS
    16 pts …. 3 go … 41 ga … def – Keaton Ellerby … to Barys Astana (Kazakhstan-KHL)

    LAKE ERIE MONSTERS
    13 pts …. 3 go … 71 ga … def – Bruno Gervais … to Eisbaeren Berlin (Germany)

    ROCKFORD ICEHOGS
    6 pts …… 4 go … 41 ga … for – Drew Leblanc … to Augsburg Panthers (Ger)

    The 30-year-old veteran Gervais already has 418 National Hockey League games under his belt, including the 37 games skated for the Philadelphia Flyers during the lockout-shortened 2012/13 season; Gervais spent the entire 2013/14 campaign with the Adirondack Phantoms in the AHL before becoming the captain of Lake Erie last season.

    The 26-year-old Leblanc was the winner of the Hobey Baker Trophy (college hockey’s equivalent of college football’s Heisman Trophy) for St. Cloud State back in 2013 and even appeared in two NHL games for the Chicago Black Hawks that year, as well. But Leblanc did not have a great rookie pro season (76 ga, 7 go, 22 pts) for Rockford in 2013/14 and struggled with both physical fitness and point production last term. Leblanc was teammates with projected Lehigh Valley Phantoms forward Aaron Palushaj on the United States squad which earned a bronze medal at the 2013 IIHF World Championships.

    Meanwhile, the Reading Royals from the East Coast Hockey League have seen their three leading scorers plus their top scoring defenseman last season all accept offers from European clubs this summer :

    71 pts … 30 go … 72 ga … for – Olivier Labelle … to HC Rouen (France)
    67 pts … 23 go … 69 ga … for – Adam Hughesman … HC Sterzing-Vipiteno (Italy)
    62 pts … 23 go … 72 ga … for – Pat Mullane … to Assat Pori (Finland)
    35 pts ….. 6 go … 64 ga … def – Mike Marcou … to Medvescak Zagreb (Croatia-KHL)

  5. Former Lehigh Valley defenseman Oliver Lauridsen, the Danish international who seemed to be one of the Phantoms’ more popular players last term, highlights this week’s group of those appearing in at least 10 American Hockey League games last season who have now signed new contracts to start the 2015/16 overseas; the overall list of those appearing in at least 10 AHL games last season who have now transferred to European clubs this summer has now reached a total of 51 players :

    SAN ANTONIO RAMPAGE
    59 pts … 27 go … 68 ga … for – Bobby Butler … to Mo Do Ornskoldsvik (Sweden)
    46 pts … 13 go …. 74 ga … for – Mark Mancari … to Augsburg Panthers (Germany)

    ALBANY DEVILS
    25 pts … 10 go …. 58 ga … for – Tim Sestito … to Dynamo Riga (Latvia-KHL)

    SPRINGFIELD FALCONS
    11 pts ……. 2 go … 31 ga … def – Denny Urban … to Straubing Tigers (Ger)

    SYRACUSE CRUNCH
    11 pts ……. 2 go … 74 ga … def – Jean Philippe Cote … to Iserlohn Roosters (Ger)

    LEHIGH VALLEY PHANTOMS
    10 pts ……. 4 go … 75 ga … def – Oliver Lauridsen … to HC Vastra Frolunda (Swe)

    Still no word on a new club, European or North American, for ex-Lehigh Valley Phantoms goaltender Rob Zepp …

  6. Alright, so, in the end, the Philadelphia Flyers did, in fact, re-sign defenseman Michael Del Zotto to a new contract. I had been under the impression that the restricted free agent would be looking to land a big money deal but the Flyers wouldn’t be able to offer him satisfactory and stay under the salary cap restrictions, too. The bottom line is a re-evaluation of Philadelphia’s defensive depth chart is in order.

    Again, I see the Flyers carrying seven defensemen to start the season — Streit, Del Zotto, MacDonald, Medvedev, L. Schenn, Schultz, Gudas.

    The projected roster spot for Radko Gudas is probably the one most likely to receive the most serious challenge from the likes of the skillful Shayne Gostisbehere, the massive Samuel Morin, the experienced Brandon Manning and, perhaps, even this year’s first rounder Ivan Provorov.

    It should be remembered that the youthful Provorov is ineligible to be sent to the American Hockey League this season — nevertheless, no matter who makes Philadelphia’s NHL roster at the conclusion of training camp, the defensive corps of the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms figures to be significantly improved as compared to that from last season.

  7. A pair of players who each scored goals against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms this past season top this week’s list of those who appeared in at least 10 AHL games last season but have now signed contracts to start this season in Europe; following last week’s transactions, a total of 54 players with at least ten games in the AHL last term are heading overseas :

    ADIRONDACK FLAMES
    38 pts … 20 go … 59 ga … for – David Wolf … to Hamburg Freezers (Germany)

    WORCESTER SHARKS
    33 pts … 16 go … 54 ga … for – Daniil Tarasov … to Dynamo Moscow (Russia-KHL)

    TORONTO MARLIES / SYRACUSE CRUNCH
    22 pts ….. 7 go … 41 ga … for – Carter Ashton … to Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod (Rus-KHL)

    Wolf, the German national team winger who later skated in three NHL games for the Calgary Flames last season, had a goal for the visitors during the first-ever regular season American Hockey League game ever played at the PPL Center in downtown Allentown.

  8. A former 2nd round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers headlines the latest, albeit it short, list of those who appeared in at least 10 AHL games last season but have now signed contracts to start this 2015/16 hockey season in Europe. Most European teams formally opened pre-season training camps two weeks ago so, naturally, the weekly number of player signings is slowing considerably as most clubs have already filled out their rosters. Including the transactions from the last two weeks, a total of 58 players with at least 10 games in the AHL last term are heading overseas this summer :

    MILWAUKEE ADMIRALS
    26 pts … 11 go … 76 ga … for – Mark van Guilder … to SV Ritten/Renon (Italy)

    HARTFORD WOLFPACK
    10 pts ….. 1 go … 44 ga … def – Dallas Jackson … to HC Hudiksvalls (Sweden.3)

    TORONTO MARLIES
    7 pts ……. 1 go … 44 ga … def – Kevin Marshall … to BK Rogle Angelholm (Swe)

    GRAND RAPID GRIFFINS
    4 pts ……. 2 go … 52 ga … for – Chris Bruton … to Braehead Clan (Scotland)

    Marshall, now 26 years old, was the 41st overall player selected at the 2007 NHL Draft and skated two and a half seasons in the Philadelphia organization (most of that time being spent with the Adirondack Phantoms) before being traded to the Washington Capitals in early February of 2012; Marshall had a brief run with the Philadelphia Flyers (10 ga, 0 go, 0 pts, 8 pen min, – 1 def rat) towards the beginning of the 2011/12 NHL season but never did return.

  9. Three more players who appeared in at least 10 AHL games last season will be continuing their careers on the other side of the Pond this term … To date, a total of 61 players who appeared in at least 10 AHL games last season have signed new contracts with European clubs this summer.

    IOWA WILD
    37 pts … 12 go … 66 ga … def – Jonathon Blum … Admiral Vladivostock (Russia-KHL)

    SPRINGFIELD FALCONS
    59 ga ….. 3 go … 20 pts … def – Frederic St. Denis … EHC Red Bull Munich (Germany)

    ALBANY DEVILS
    34 ga ….. 1 go ….. 2 pts … for – Cam Janssen … Nottingham Panthers (England)

    • Wait, there’s hockey in England?

      • Yes, but it’s really bottom-of-the-barrel, low grade stuff in Great Britain’s Elite Ice Hockey League— the place where veteran goons like Jay Rosehill go when they can’t even hold a job at the AHL level anymore. Case in point, former Phantoms enforcer Zack Fitzgerald (who had exactly one goal, one assist and 433 penalty minutes in 74 AHL games over the course of two seasons with the Adirondack Phantoms a few years ago). Last season, his first overseas, Fitzgerald had two goals and 336 penalty minutes in 50 EIHL games for Scottish side Braehead Clan — this earned him a new gig with the league’s defending champions, English club Sheffield Steelers!

        The EIHL has ten teams — at present, four are from England, four are from Scotland, one is from Wales (Cardiff) and one is from Northern Ireland (Belfast) … Unlike in international soccer (football), where the above compete separately for appearances at events like the World Cup, in international ice hockey these four ‘countries’ all skate together as Great Britain.

  10. Two more players who appeared in at least 10 AHL games last season have signed new contracts to skate overseas … (to date, a total of 63 players who appeared in at least 10 AHL games last season have signed new contracts this summer to play this upcoming season with European clubs) :

    LAKE ERIE MONSTERS
    23 pts … 10 go … 38 ga … for – Tomas Vincour … to Sibir Novosibirsk (Russia-KHL)

    SPRINGFIELD FALCONS
    12 pts ….. 5 go … 62 ga … def – Thomas Larkin … to Medvescak Zagreb (Croatia-KHL)

    A return to the crack Kontinental Hockey League for Tomas Vincour, the 23-year-old Czech right wing who skated in seven NHL games for the Colorado Avalanche last season, then. Two seasons ago, the 5th round pick (# 129 overall) of the Dallas Stars at the 2009 NHL Draft spent the entire 2013/14 campaign skating in the KHL for Russian club Ak Bars Kazan (39 ga, 6 go, 11 pts). Overall, Vincour has skated in 95 NHL games (7 go, 17 pts, 12 pen, – 9 def rat) in parts of four seasons for the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche.

    Now that the Champions Hockey League has gotten under way, it is not surprising to see that most top shelf European clubs have already concluded their off-season shopping. Even the European clubs that are not competing in the CHL have formally opened their official training camps and so the flow of players from North America who are heading overseas is slowing down to a trickle. It is interesting to point out that Kontinental Hockey League clubs do not participate in the Champions Hockey League competition.

    More than 20 of the 63 total ‘AHL players’ who signed new contracts with European clubs this summer are competing in the Champions Hockey League tournament this season including two inaugural Lehigh Valley Phantoms now with Swedish clubs, forward Andrew Gordon (HC Linkoping) and defenseman Oliver Lauridsen (HC Vastra Frolunda Gothenburg).

  11. The flow is winding down to a trickle as the new season approaches in earnest but a 64th player who appeared in at least 10 AHL games during the 2014/15 season has signed a new contract to play for a European club this summer :

    HERSHEY BEARS
    53 ga … 7 go … 10 pts … for – Joel Broda … to HC Bolzano (Italy)

    The 25-year-old Broda is the fifth player (four of them regulars who appeared in at least fifty-three AHL games during the 2014/15 campaign) from last season’s edition of the Hershey Bears to move overseas this off-season.

  12. The calendar says September now but a couple more players who appeared in at least 10 AHL games (including a member of the inaugural edition of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms) have signed new contracts to play overseas; this means that a total of 66 players who appeared in at least 10 AHL games last season have now moved over to Europe this summer :

    ALBANY DEVILS
    24 ga … 3 go … 13 pts … for – Kelly Zajac … to Lukko Rauma (Finland)

    LEHIGH VALLEY PHANTOMS
    37 ga … 0 go ….. 6 pts … def – Brett Flemming … to HC Bolzano (Italy)

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