Edmonton signs three AHL SPCs, and they might be in Scope this fall.
Champions have yet to be determined in the NHL, AHL, and ECHL but a lot of work is still going on with non-playoff teams. Norfolk, of course, faces a big change as they rejoin the ECHL as the affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers. Given the nature of the ECHL, there is a lot of turnover. Expecting a return of a large portion of the Condors’ 2014-15 roster is not a good idea. Bakersfield gave an inkling of some moves today when they signed three players to AHL contracts.
First is goalie Ty Rimmer. Rimmer was diagnosed with testicular cancer this past season, and had a successful surgery. As you might expect, Rimmer missed a good deal of the season. He did manage to appear in 25 games for the Condors, however. The goalie is entering his third year as a pro, with most of those games in the ECHL or Central Hockey League. In the past two years, his numbers have not been great. He posted an ,899 save percentage in the games he played in 2014-15, and a .906 with the Quad City Mallards the year before that. Those numbers are barely AHL back-up quality. With his AHL contract, however, Rimmer could be sent to Norfolk. Edmonton’s goalie depth is interesting going forward. Ben Scrivens remains signed through next season, Viktor Fasth is an unrestricted free agent, Laurent Brossoit enters the last year of his entry-level contract (ELC), and Finnish import Eetu Laurikainen maybe starting a 2-year ELC. Richard Bachman, who partnered with Brossoit in Oklahoma City this year, is also an unrestricted free agent. If the Oilers re-sign Bachman and Fasth, it would be:
This is not a given, obviously. Peter Chiarelli is the new boss in charge of the Oilers, and it’s unclear where he really wants to go with these goalies. Laurikainen is particularly noteworthy. As of right now, he is currently signed for another year with the Espoo Blues of the Liiga. IF Laurikainen comes over, there is still a possibility that he could be part of the AHL tandem. Bruce McCurdy of the Edmonton Journal has a detailed look at this. Ty Rimmer will be the Admirals’ goalie, who knows who else will be.
Next up for an AHL contract is winger Braden Christoffer. An undrafted player, I think it’s very obvious why the Regina Pats product was signed. You can look at the 59 points in his last season, sure, but it’s the PIM total. Christoffer was second overall in the WHL in terms of PIMs this past season. It is wishful thinking to assume he’s going to be, say, Pat Maroon. While there is scoring touch there, Christoffer looks like a prime candidate to start throwing punches in the Scope this fall.
Finally, the Condors signed winger Connor Rankin. Rankin spent five years in the WHL, with a very productive 79 points in 72 games this past season with the Calgary Hitmen. It is clear that he is a gamble brought in because of possible skill production. Rankin must have an impressive camp to stay with the AHL team.
Another note is that the Oilers signed Anton Slepyshev to a standard ELC. The 2011 KHL number one draft pick (really) spent this last season with Salavat of the KHL. His numbers were not that impressive (25 points in 58 games played), but he is 20 and may not have seen much ice time. Slepyshev is a 2013 3rd rounder for the Oilers. I’d imagine he’d start in the AHL.