For me personally there are few things I want to do less in life than watch AHL hockey. Over the past few weeks, I’m shocked that my stance on that hasn’t particularly changed, as any hockey might be nice, but today’s signings test my stance a little more as I am a big fan of one of the signees.

The player here that particularly stands out for me is Noel Hoefenmayer, a talented offensive defenseman from the Ottawa 67s. I wanted the Leafs to draft him in 2017, I wanted the Leafs to sign him last year when he wasn’t offered an entry level contract from the Coyotes, and now here we are finally getting him into the system on an AHL deal.

Here’s what I had to say about him last year:

The Ottawa 67’s defenseman was drafted in the fourth round in 2017. He’s a talent offensive defenseman, but might not have the high end speed for the NHL and might be a defensive liability, at least to start his pro career. With Sandin and Liljegren close to graduating from the Marlies, Hoefenmayer could be a solid offensive replacement, along with Mac Hollowell.

2015-16 45 2 3 5 18
2016-17 62 14 26 40 36
2017-18 65 7 26 33 40
2018-19 68 16 46 62 61
2019-20 58 26 56 82 37

So there’s nothing wrong with that. Additionally, compared to the NCAA crop, the CHLers are a bit younger. Hoefenmayer is 21, and will have room to grow. The move seems to be a project move similar to what was done last year with Justin Brazeau.

As for Jeremy McKenna, I can’t profess to knowing as much about him as I do Hoefenmayer. He’s played his career in the QMJHL despite being from Canmore, Alberta, and has been on the Moncton Wildcats for his entire time in the league. He’s a 5’10 winger, that was never drafted, and save your groans about his height, because the kid can produce and at only 20, there’s plenty of time to see what the Marlies have in him.

2016-17 66 16 10 26 20
2017-18 68 36 41 77 43
2018-19 68 45 52 97 35
2019-20 57 40 42 82 24

Not bad numbers, right? Certainly worth a look considering there’s absolutely no risk associated with this move.

Anyways, both players are likely to report to the Newfoundland Growlers when hockey returns, but perhaps one of them can turn into a success story.