Goaltender Nilsson done in Long Island, heading to KHL

By Jared Clinton (@JPDClinton)

With the Islanders signing of Jaroslav Halak, and New York landing its starting goaltender, Anders Nilsson is taking his game across the pond, signing what appears to be a one-year deal with the KHL’s Ak Bars Kazan. The deal was first reported by Igor Eronko of SportsBox.ru.

In 29 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2013-14, Nilsson posted a 2.81 GAA and .901 SV%, a sizeable regression from his rookie North American season.

Drafted in the third round of the 2009 entry draft, the 6’5″ goaltender made his debut in North American play in 2011-12, posting a 2.42 GAA and incredible .921 SV%. Nilsson regressed the following season, but got the call in 2013-14 to spot start for the Islanders.

In 18 games in the NHL this season, the 24-year-old goaltender looked shaky. With a 3.11 GAA and .896 SV% in his short stint in the NHL, it was assumed Nilsson’s play would leave him out of consideration for the starting role with the Isles.

The terms of the deal have not been announced.

Sound Tigers keep tough guy Gallant

Brett Gallant, he of 202 PIM in 42 games last season, is back with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for another year.

Gallant, a tough guy who has spent the last two seasons as a full-time AHLer with the Sound Tigers, signed a one-year, two-way deal with the New York Islanders earlier today.

Before coming to the Islanders organization, Gallant spent three seasons with the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs and a year in the Maritime Junior League where Gallant scored 24 goals, 49 assists, and was assessed 235 PIM, all in the span of 50 games.

Since his days with the MJAHL’s Summerside Western Capitals, Gallant has spent time in the ECHL with Elmira and Reading, and suited up for a game with the Syracuse Crunch in 2009-10.


Iowa Wild add defenceman Landry

Johnathon Blum’s signing was finalized today by the Wild, but their farm club didn’t stop there, adding former Bridgeport Sound Tiger Jon Landry.

Landry, who had played 108 games with the Sound Tigers over the past two seasons, inked a one-year deal with the Wild that will see the 30-year-old in the AHL this season.

Undrafted, Landry worked his way to the professional ranks by way of the Central Hockey League. While his development may have taken a while, it’s a testament to the Montreal natives determination that he’s playing in the AHL now.

Landry spent his college years at Bowdoin College, an NCAA Division III club in Maine, before getting a shot out of college to make it with the Portland Pirates. The Pirates and Landry parted ways after only two games, and he began his long journey back. Since his cup of coffee in the league in 2005-06, Landry has played his way through Augusta (ECHL), spent three full seasons in Arizona with the Sundogs (CHL), played part of a year in Germany, a full year in England, and then landed with the Colorado Eagles of the ECHL before getting the call to come to Bridgeport.

In Bridgeport, Landry found AHL success, scoring 10 goals and adding 43 helpers while with the Islanders top affiliate. His best production came last year when, in 72 games, the 6’3″ defenceman had 33 points (8-25).

BC’s Milner lands with Islanders

Parker Milner, the Most Outstanding Player from the 2012 NCAA Frozen Four, has signed on to join the New York Islanders.

The Boston College product spent four years in the NCAA, appearing in 93 games as an Eagle. In 2011-12, during a season that would see Milner backstop the Eagles to their fifth national title, the 22-year-old Pittsburgh native posted a 1.66 GAA and .937 SV% on his way to being named to the All-Tournament Team.

Speculation is that contract will see Milner suit up and split time between the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers and the ECHL. Milner makes his way to the pros as an undrafted free agent.

(Cover image courtesy Bart Hanlon)

Wheels on the Bus: Draft Day

Well, that took a lot longer than expected.

After a three-minute time limit was imposed on drafting teams, some thought the first round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft would take no longer than two hours. Three hours later, the first round hadn’t ended, and the hubbub about there being trades into the double digits was all for naught. All told, there were seven deals including players and a handful of picks-for-picks deals.

It wasn’t the biggest day as far as movement in the AHL goes, but a few years down the road you might be seeing a number of players from this year’s draft class getting some seasoning in the A. Continue reading