If that title doesn’t pull you in, nothing will.
So let’s say you actually clicked on this, well you will be excited to learn that we are one week away from teams having their negotiating rights expire with NCAA players who have left or graduated from their schools. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
It’s this excitement that led to the exciting Dakota Joshua to St. Louis for Future Considerations deal a while back, and now here we are with the chance to pooper scoop the rest of the list.
By it’s nature this list is bound to be pretty underwhelming, but if you have a strong passion about potential stars on the Newfoundland Growlers next season, this could be the list for you. Here’s the breakdown of who is presently available (some of these players may be on AHL deals with their current organization and require an ELC to move on).
|Player||NHL Team||NCAA Team||Position||Draft Year||Draft Round||GP||G||Pts|
|Steven Ruggiero||ANA||Lake Superior State||RD||2015||6||37||6||11|
|Christopher Brown||BUF||Boston College||C||2014||6||39||7||16|
|Ivan Chukarov||BUF||U.Mass Amherst||LD||2015||7||25||1||3|
|Max Willman||BUF||Boston University||F||2014||5||36||1||6|
|Vincent Desharnais||EDM||Providence College||RD||2016||7||42||5||13|
|Joey Dudek||EDM||Boston College||C||2014||6||39||7||12|
|Joe Wegwerth||FLA||Notre Dame||LW||2014||4||12||7||11|
|Marcus Vela||SJ||New Hampshire||C||2015||7||36||6||18|
|Jacob Jackson||SJ||Michigan Tech||F||2013||7||22||3||8|
And who could forget the goaltenders…
|Player||NHL Team||NCAA Team||Draft Year||Draft Round||GP||GAA||SV%|
|Hayden Hawkey||EDM||Providence College||2014||6||41||1.88||0.921|
|John Kupsky||SJ||Union College||2015||7||15||2.80||0.885|
* indicated played in the ECHL last season
This isn’t exactly a list that’s dripping with standouts, but a few names warrant at least keeping an eye from a rookie camp invitee/AHL pro try out perspective.
Thomas Novak- C
Drafted by the Predators in the 3rd round, Novak was a point per game player in the USHL in his draft year, and was coming off a goal per game, and 11 point in 5 game performance at the Hlinka tournament. Four years of mediocre results at the University of Minnesota has tempered those expectations, but if he can be brought in as organizational centre depth, that’s not a bad option.
Chase Priskie- RD
The fact that Washington isn’t signing a player who was over a point per game on the blueline last season probably raises some red flags, but even before the spike in results this season, Chase had solid numbers and his skills don’t seem to be lacking either. I can’t imagine his two game suspension is going to be held against him too much, and he’s probably one of the few players on this list who warrants an entry level contract.
The fact that the Oilers haven’t moved mountains to get a goaltender with promising numbers under contract is a little strange, but being a little strange fits with the Oilers team building model. A save percentage north of .92 warrants a bit of a look, but it’s tough to place where Hawkey would fit in with the Leafs. I’d be surprised if another team doesn’t take a look at him though.
Vincent Desharnais- D
Sticking with the theme of trying to figure out why the Oilers aren’t signing their own players (presumably the players want no part of Edmonton), Vincent Desharnais is a 6’6 right shooting defenseman who may be an intriguing project. Taking on a 23 year old project might be a stretch, but this isn’t a deep list so he warrants a mention.
Joe Wegwerth- LW
Wegwerth had a shortened season where he put up 11 points in 12 games. The thing is, that matches his career high for points, so the entire reason for bringing him in would be to see if his senior year was going to be his breakout season.
Brent Gates- C
Gates fits with a similar situation to that of Thomas Novak, in that he’d be intriguing from a center depth perspective. While Gates got steadily better over his time in college, he never reached a point per game level, and really would be a similar option to what the Leafs already had in Dakota Joshua.
Fredrik Olofsson- LW
Did I include Olofsson almost entirely because his name is so similar to one of my all time favourite defensemen, Fredrik Olausson? Yeah, probably, but Olofsson was a near a point per game player in his senior year. It looks like he’s SHL bound, and unlikely to be playing in North America next year, but if he does well over there in the near future, it will be nice for me to look back at this post and say that I had a modest level of faith in his abilities.
Long story short…
Sign Priskie or stick to AHL tryouts and rookie camp invites.