Thursday, July 2, 2015

NHL Free Agency Period Off to Furious Start

The National Hockey League’s free agency period started off with a bang on Wednesday, including a number of (now) former NCAA players.
Phil Kessel (Minnesota) was involved in a nine-player deal that sent him from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Pittsburgh Penguins, while 2015 second overall draft choice Jack Eichel (Boston University) signed a three-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres after winning the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey's best player in 2014-15.
Paul Martin (Minnesota) jumped from Pittsburgh to San Jose, while Kevin Hayes (Boston College) moved from the Florida Panthers to the Boston Bruins. Erik Condra (Notre Dame)) signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning after playing five seasons for the Ottawa Senators, Joe Whitney (Boston College) went from the New Jersey Devils to the New York Islanders, and Matt Bartkowski (Ohio State) is leaving Boston for the Vancouver Canucks.

An updated list of free agency signings can be found here.
Earlier this week, Kevin Bieksa (Bowling Green) was traded from the Canucks to the Anaheim Ducks for a second-round selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
In addition, Wisconsin goaltending recruit Luke Opilka will apparently sign with the St. Louis Blues, while Colorado College defenseman Jacob Slavin has inked a deal with the Carolina Hurricanes after two seasons with the Tigers, according to

Lastly, is reporting that Martin St. Louis (Vermont) has retired after 16 NHL seasons and 1,033 regular-season points with Calgary, Tampa Bay, and the New York Rangers. St. Louis guided UVM to the 1996 NCAA Frozen Four, and later won the Art Ross Trophy, the Hart Trophy, and the Ted Lindsay Award in 2003-04 while also leading the Lightning to its first Stanley Cup title that same season.

ADDENDUM: St. Louis today traded T. J. Oshie (North Dakota) to the Washington Capitals in exchange for a draft choice and two players, including goaltending prospect Pheonix Copley (Michigan Tech).

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