Hurricanes, Kings announce entry-level signings

The Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings each announced today they’ve signed draft picks to entry level deals.

The Hurricanes announced that Erik Karlsson — not to be confused with the Senators’ defenseman of the same name — has inked a three-year deal with the team. Ron Francis, in a Hurricanes release, said Karlsson adds to the team’s depth at forward, citing the winger’s speed as his best attribute.

Karlsson, a 19-year-old who has spent his entire junior and professional career with Frolunda, suited up for 51 games with Frolunda in 2013-14, tallying five goals and an assist. He also helped Sweden to a silver medal at the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championships.

Los Angeles, at work stocking the cupboards even during the Western Conference Final, signed Valentin Zykov to a three-year entry-level deal.

A second round pick in 2013, Zykov’s two-way deal will kick in next season, and will likely see him in Manchester as early as October.

In 53 games last season with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL, the 6’0″, 200 lb. winger registered 23 goals and 40 assists, and another 7 goals and 22 points in 22 playoff games.

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AHL Today: Amerks win streak to five, Hoffman pots four

AHL Today is a roundup of the night that was, the day ahead, and anything you may have missed. Your quick look at what’s going on around the league.

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To Watch:

  • TORONTO at OKLAHOMA CITY: These two teams don’t play very often — they’ve only faced off six times in the last five years — so there’s not a long history here. However, of note, Will Acton will be facing off against his former team for the first time since leaving the Marlies to head to the Barons this past summer. Oklahoma is coming into the game having lost back-to-back games in regulation, and are hoping to avoid a slide that would put them ever further back in the West. Already near the basement, the Barons are on the verge of losing their season if they can’t right the shit. A loss to the Marlies would not help their cause.

Last Night:

  • ROCHESTER 4, CHICAGO 1: The Wolves struck just fifteen seconds into the game, but they wouldn’t pot another. After Adam Cracknell’s opening salvo, the Amerks held steadfast and came back in waves potting four unanswered. Goals for Rochester came from Kevin Porter, Brayden McNabb, Colton Gillies, Alex Hutchings. Johan Larsson contributed with a pair of helpers, and the Amerks have pushed their streak to five.
  • SAN ANTONIO 4, TEXAS 2: There are dominating, three-period shot-barrage type wins, and then there are what you could call goalie wins. For San Antonio, you could call the victory over Texas a goalie win, as Michael Houser stopped 44 of 46 shots sent his way. Jed Ortmeyer had two tallies for the Rampage, including the game-winner which came in the first frame. In the loss, Stars goaltender Josh Robinson allowed four goals on just 18 shots.
  • BINGHAMTON 6, WORCESTER 3: The Mike Hoffman show rolled into Worcester as the Binghamton forward potted his 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd goals of the year. A five point night for Hoffman — he added an assist, just for good measure — helped the Sens handily defeat Worcester. Forward Scott Fleming made his debut for the Sharks after getting the call to the ‘A’ from the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets.

(Moves, news, and notes after the jump.)

Continue reading

AHL Today: Glens Falls close to finding out future, Utica win streak halted

AHL Today is a roundup of the night that was, the day ahead, and anything you may have missed. Your quick look at what’s going on around the league.

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To Watch:

  • CHICAGO at ROCHESTER: Rochester puts its four-game winning streak on the line when they take on the Wolves. Over their last four games, the Amerks have outscored their opponents 16-8. The tandem of Nathan Lieuwen and Matt Hackett have been formidable for Rochester. The teams haven’t faced each other this season, but they’re meeting each other as they both start to roll. Chicago is on a two game streak of its own. Should be a great game. Of note, the Amerks will be without top point-getter Phil “Don’t Call Me Joe” Varone who is up with the Buffalo Sabres.
  • SAN ANTONIO at TEXAS: The Stars host the Rampage at home, where they’re 21-3-0-3 against San Antonio in the last five years. Texas has picked up a point in each of the seven contests between the two teams so far this season, and a single point will draw them into a tie for first place in the West. Texas will still be without goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp, so expect Josh Robinson to get the call. The last time the two teams met was Dec. 28, when the Stars walked away with a 5-2 victory.

Last Night:

  • LAKE ERIE 3, UTICA 2 (SO): Benn Ferriero continued his hot streak, picking up a goal and an assist, but it wasn’t enough as the Comets dropped the game to the Monsters in a shootout. Calvin Pickard picked up the win for the Monsters, making thirty saves and stopping every shot in skills competition. Joey Hishon’s shootout tally proved to be the winner.
  • CHARLOTTE at NORFOLK (ppd.): Due to weather, the Admirals and Checkers had their tilt postponed to March 4.
    (Moves, news, and notes after the jump.) Continue reading

AHL Today: A look at the PPL Center, Utica goes for five

AHL Today is a roundup of the night that was, the day ahead, and anything you may have missed. Your quick look at what’s going on around the league.

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To Watch:

  • LAKE ERIE at UTICA: As Lake Erie heads into Utica, this isn’t just a battle of some basement dwellers, it’s a battle of teams heading in very different directions. Winless in their last eight games, Lake Erie has dropped seven games in regulation as the Comets have snapped their most recent skid, rattling off four straight wins. Joacim Erikkson, fresh off being named Player of the Week, will likely get the call for the Comets. Lake Erie will get goaltender Sami Aittokallio back from his recall with the Colorado Avalanche. Only nine points out of a playoff spot, it’s a bit too early to really write off the Comets, but they’re going to need to extend this win streak and have many more like it to get back in the race.
  • CHARLOTTE at NORFOLK: The Admirals have points in six straight heading into their game with the visiting Checkers. Charlotte has won the last three meetings between the two clubs, but needed overtime and shootout to do so. On a four game winning streak themselves, the Checkers are going to be without leading scorer Aaron Palsuhaj, who just earned himself a call to the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. The Ads’ best bet is to keep the Checkers off the powerplay, as the team is moving along at nearly a 25% clip.

Moves:

Sami Aittokallio (G) From: Colorado Avalanche To: Lake Erie Monsters
Aaron Palushaj (F)
 From: Charlotte Checkers To: Carolina Hurricanes
Petr Mrázek (G) From: Detroit Red Wings To: Grand Rapids Griffins
Cody Beach (F) From: Kalamazoo Wings To: Chicago Wolves
Colton Sissons (F) From: Milwaukee Admirals To: Nashville Predators
Danny Hobbs (F) From: Elmira Jackals To: Binghamton Senators
Thomas Heemskerk (G) From: Worcester Sharks To: Quad City Mallards
Jordan Szwarz (F) From: Phoenix Coyotes To: Portland Pirates
Connor Murphy (D) From: Portland Pirates To: Phoenix Coyotes
Olivier Roy (G) From: Alaska Aces To: Abbotsford Heat
Drew MacKenzie (D) From: Alaska Aces To: Abbotsford Heat
Zach McKelvie (D) From: Abbotsford Heat To: Alaska Aces
Jordan Kremyr (F) From: Abbotsford Heat To: Alaska Aces
Jordan Schroeder (F) From: Utica Comets To: Vancouver Canucks
Nicholas Rioux (D) From: Iowa Wild To: Quad City Mallards
Brandon Pirri (F) From: Rockford IceHogs To: Chicago Blackhawks
Anders Nilsson (G) From: New York Islanders To: Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Matt Donovan (D) From: New York Islanders To: Bridgeport Sound Tigers

News & Notes:

  • Really nice work by 100DegreeHockey’s Stephen Meserve on the Texas Stars league leading powerplay. [100DegreeHockey]
  • The AHL Power Rankings for Week 17 have gone live on Chirps From Center Ice. Jason has been doing a great job with these, so go take a look. [ChirpsFromCenterIce]
  • After nearly a month on the road, the Rochester Americans are back on home ice. [WHEC]
  • The Milwaukee Admirals are hosting a, get this, Jamaican Vortex Night. Three fans will get a trip to Jamaica, and there will be a Bob Marley tribute band. You think you’d see this in the NHL? C’mon. [Milwaukee Admirals]
  • The brand new PPL Center is on its way to completion. (s/t @breakground, @Ike_Richman)
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    (Click to enlarge)

AHL Today: Muse posts 31-save shutout; top spot in West on the line

AHL Today is a roundup of the night that was, the day ahead, and anything you may have missed. Your quick look at what’s going on around the league.

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Weekend Watch:

  • GRAND RAPIDS at TEXAS: Tops in the Western Conference, the Grand Rapids Griffins head into Cedar Park tonight with their sights set on putting some distance between themselves and the Texas Stars. With the injuries to Detroit, the Griffins roster has been picked over, but the Stars have been moving along at a steady clip and could have their offence bolstered by Dustin Jeffery as soon as tonight.
    – In all likelihood, Tom McCollum will get the call between the pipes for the Griffins, going up against the Stars’ Josh Robinson, who made ten saves in a relief appearance for injured Christopher Nilstorp, who went down in the Stars 4-3 shootout victory over the Iowa Wild.
    – The Griffins are won both meetings with the Stars, outscoring Dallas’ farm team 10-5 in a weekend set.
    Notables: Robinson hasn’t suited up against the Griffins this season. Travis Morin has eight points over the last three games, and rookie Curtis McKenzie has points in three straight, including a four assist night on Jan. 17 when the Stars took on the Checkers. Jordin Tootoo comes into the game riding a three-game point streak, and scored the game winner in the Nov. 29 meeting between these two.

Full schedule, news, and notes after the jump. Continue reading

AHL Today: Lake Erie looks to snap skid, Texas loses Nilstorp in W

AHL Today is a roundup of the night that was, the day ahead, and anything you may have missed. Your quick look at what’s going on around the league.

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On the schedule tonight:

Rochester heads into Lake Erie as both teams move in different directions. Lake Erie has dropped its last five, while Rochester has picked up a win in its last two outings. Lake Erie, only five points back of second spot in the division, needs a win to bring themselves two points closer to third place Rochester.

Notables:

  • Lake Erie: Mark Olver (9-19-28), Bryan Lerg (12-15-27), and Andrew Agozzino (9-17-26) are all clustered within two points of each other.
  • No goaltender has been confirmed for tonight, but Calvin Pickard and Sami Aittokallio have split time all season, and with Pickard between the pipes for Lake Erie’s last contest, look for Aittokallio to get the call.
  • Rochester: Top point getter Phil Varone (8-25-33) got the call to Buffalo yesterday, so he won’t be in the lineup tonight. Luke Adam (15-10-25), who is scoring at a more torrid pace with over a point per game, will have all eyes on him as Lake Erie looks to stop their slide.
  • Nathan Lieuwen has had the net for three of the last four, so expect Hackett to get the call tonight.

Oklahoma City and Charlotte meet up tonight in Carolina, both with two game win streaks on the line. Oklahoma stands to slide up the standings in pursuit of the final playoff spot. The win would put them two points out of the final spot in the Western Conference.

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Evening round-up:

     – Colton Sceviour had his bobble head night last night in Cedar Park. The resemblance? Suffice to say Sceviour wasn’t thrilled.

     – Threw together a Storify of the action on Twitter during the hubbub over the possibility of the St. John’s IceCaps and Winnipeg Jets affiliation agreement possibly ending with a new AHL team landing in Thunder Bay. Click the image below.

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 9.01.30 AM

Jared Staal back with ‘Canes

The Carolina Hurricanes will continue to hoard the Staal brothers.

Jared Staal, who was a restricted free agent, has signed a one-year, two-way extension with the Hurricanes organization that will keep him bouncing between the ‘Canes and the Charlotte Checkers this coming season.

At 22, Staal has been the least successful of all the Staal brothers, but that’s hardly a standard he should be held to. While he has been unable to crack an NHL roster on a full-time basis, he has been effective in his role as a grinder in the minor leagues.

Working his way through the ECHL (Staal played 33 games with the Florida Everblades in 2010-11), Staal has made his way to a full-time AHL gig, and he’ll be great for the Hurricanes and Checkers in a swing role between the minors and the big league.

Canes bring back Jordan and Murphy, add Palushaj

The Carolina Hurricanes announced today they have come to terms on deals with defenceman Michal Jordan, goaltender Mike Murphy, and forward Aaron Palushaj.

Drafted in the fourth round of the 2008 draft, Jordan comes back to the ‘Canes for another season after spending the last three years with the organization. In his three seasons, the 22-year-old has played in 197 AHL games and five with the big club.

A native of Czech Republic, Jordan came to the Charlotte Checkers in 2010 and suited up for 67 games that season. In his rookie campaign, the young blueliner had four goals and 18 assists, and had improved on those totals each season. Back with the Checkers in the 2011-12 campaign, Jordan was able to muster another four goals and added 18 assists in 76 games. He didn’t appear in the NHL until last year when, after the lockout came to an end, he appeared in five games with the Hurricanes. Over 54 games in the ‘A’ last year, Jordan set a career high with six goals, and added an assist in the only playoff game he suited up for.

Murphy, 24, is four years removed from winning his second straight OHL Goaltender of the Year award. During his tenure in the with the Belleville Bulls — spanning from 2005-06 to 2008-09 — Murphy dominated. In back-to-back seasons, Murphy lead the league in SV%, GAA, and was named a first-team all-star in 2008-09.

In the AHL, Murphy has backstopped the Checkers for 47 games, including 39 contests in 2010-11 where the keeper posted a regular season GAA  of 2.53 and .919 SV%. In 14 playoff games, Murphy continued his stellar play with a 2.57 GAA and .919 SV%. Those totals, the best of his career, came two years before he left the team for a stint in the KHL with Spartak Moscow. Used sparingly in Moscow, Murphy left the KHL and came back to Charlotte, and has now re-signed with the organization for 2013-14.

Palushaj, who most will recognize from his days with the Hamilton Bulldogs and Montreal Canadiens, played 25 games in the NHL last season with Colorado. Claimed by the Avalanche in February of the 2012-13 season, Palushaj recorded two goals and seven assists with the team before his contract expired this off-season. Not tendered a qualifying offer, Palushaj hit free agency and, in turn, signed on with the Hurricanes.

At 23, Palushaj has been tremendous at the AHL level, putting up 54 goals and 82 assists for 136 points over 190 career games in the league.

All three contracts are one-year, two-way deals.

 

Sanguinetti heads to the KHL

According to Atlant Mytishchi’s website, the KHL team has inked former Carolina Hurricane to a two-year deal.

Sanguinetti, a veteran of 277 AHL games, spent most of the season in the NHL at the end of the lockout. In his 37 games with the Hurricanes in 2012-13, Sanguinetti had two goals and four assists. In 36 games in the AHL, before the NHL season had begun, the defenceman had six goals and 15 assists with Carolina’s top affiliate in Charlotte.

Prior to landing in Charlotte, Sanguinetti played his minor league career with the Hartford Wolf Pack. A first round pick of the New York Rangers in 2006, Sanguinetti is a year removed from a 50 point season in 2011-12. That season, while with the Checkers, the 25-year-old had ten goals and 40 assists in 60 games.

A former CHL Top Prospect and OHL second team all-star, Sanguinetti once lead the entire OHL in goals by a defeneman with 29 in 2007-08.

Flood, Corrente land in Carolina on two-way deals

Mark Flood and Matt Corrente have signed two-way deals with the Hurricanes that could see the pair patrolling the blue line for the Checkers next season.

Flood, who spent last season in the KHL with a rebuilding Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, is back in North America after just one season overseas. Prior to leaving for Russia, Flood played several seasons in the AHL, including stops in Syracuse, Albany, Bridgeport, Manitoba, and St. John’s.

Drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the sixth round of the 2003 draft, Flood, 28, is an offensive defenceman who can bring a definite spark to the Checkers powerplay. While he stands a chance at cracking the ‘Canes lineup next season, chances are that Flood will end up playing the bulk of his season in Charlotte.

Flood, a native of Charlottetown, PEI., has played 317 career AHL games, scoring 43 goals and adding 103 assists, as well as appearing in 19 playoff games, where he registered eight assists. Flood’s career highs came in 2010-11, when he put up 11 goals and 29 assists in 63 games with the Manitoba Moose.

Corrente, a New Jersey Devils first-round pick in 2006, can play at both the forward and defence positions, and is maybe best compared to a smaller — much, much smaller — John Scott.

While the 25-year-old was a first rounder, it’s safe to say he was drafted on potential rather than output. In his four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, Corrente never exceded 30 points, but amassed a staggering 419 PIM in 187 career regular season games. At the AHL level, where Corrente has spent his career with Devils affiliates Lowell and Albany, it’s been much of the same for Corrente. In his career, he’s had 49 points (13-36) in 163 games, but has racked up 350 PIM over that time.

According to the Hurricanes release, both deals are for one year.