Chirps from Center Ice

A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins

2016 AHL Top 100 Free Agents and Beyond — The Big Board

(Note: Big Board was last updated August 16 and will not be updated again)

Back for another year is a project first born in the mind of Jonathan Bombulie many years ago, a ranking of the Top 100 AHL Free Agents and Beyond. For anyone not familiar, there are NHL and NBA Free Agent Big Boards on nearly every corner of the internet. But instead of names like Steven Stamkos and Kevin Durant, this board focuses on the Andy Miele’s and Michael Leighton’s of the minor league hockey world.

Before we get to the Board, there are some people I need to personally acknowledge and sincerely thank for their help with the following respective teams…

Brent Baldwin – Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Brandon Curtis – Syracuse Crunch
Tracey Lake – Albany Devils
Kyle Mace – Hershey Bears
Nathan Mallett – San Antonio Rampage, Ontario Reign and San Diego Gulls
Stephen Meserve – Texas Stars
Chris Reynolds – Providence Bruins, Hartford Wolf Pack and Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Alan Saunders – Rochester Americans

Information on Unrestricted and Restricted Free Agents was gathered from Cap Friendly, The AHL, EliteProspects, HockeyDB and HockeysFuture.

I hope that you enjoy the lists that follow. The first list is the Top 100 AHL Free Agents available, then a “Best of the Rest” immediately below that list. Note that any players name that has an asterisk after it was a non-qualified restricted free agent. You won’t find many in the Top 100 list because I found it easier to rank the Unrestricted Free Agents. There was no sense in listing a restricted free agent in the Top 100 when he was only going to get tendered an offer.

Please let me know what you think of the rankings, and if there are any errors, omissions, or signings so I can make the correct edits. The Free Agency market, “goes live” July 1 at noon.

After the jump if you didn’t link in direct, dive in…..

Rank Name Position 2015-16 Team Comments
1 T.J. Brennan D TOR Signed with Philadelphia (NHL)
2 Andy Miele C GR Signed with Philadelphia (NHL)
3 Michael Leighton G RFD Best goalie available. Set all time record for shutouts in AHL. Preeminant AHL hall-of-famer.
4 Jason Akeson RW BNG Came over in late season trade with Rochester. Can put up some big points. 52 last year.
5 Matt Ford F BAK Signed with Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
6 Chris Mueller C SD Signed with Arizona (NHL)
7 Phil Varone C BNG Re-signed with Ottawa (NHL)
8 Matt Lorito F ALB Signed with Detroit (NHL)
9 Mike Sislo RW ALB Signed with Colorado (NHL)
10 Cole Schneider F RCH Re-signed with Buffalo (NHL)
11 Patrick Cannone C CHI Signed by Minnesota (NHL)
12 Yann Danis G ALB Veteran netminder turned in an All Star season, finishing third in GAA and second in shutouts.
13 Will O’Neill D WBS Signed with Philadelphia (NHL)
14 Gabriel Dumont C STJ Signed with Tampa Bay (NHL)
15 Jeremy Smith G PRO Signed with Colorado (NHL)
16 Eric O’Dell C RCH Signed with HC Sochi (KHL)
17 Chad Nehring F HFD Signed by Ottawa (NHL)
18 T.J. Hensick F UTI Signed with Ontario (AHL)
19 Mike Halmo LW BRI Signed with Tampa Bay (NHL)
20 Carter Camper C HER Signed with New Jersey (NHL)
21 Nick Cousins F LV Phantoms AHL All-Star. Spent second half of season in NHL.
22 Jayson Megna C HFD Signed with Vancouver (NHL)
23 Kael Mouillierat LW WBS Signed with Lulea (SHL)
24 Joe Whitney LW BRI Signed with Colorado (NHL)
25 Danny Kristo RW CHI Re-signed with St. Louis (NHL)
26 Alex Grant D SPR Signed by Boston (NHL)
27 Brandon DeFazio LW PRO Signed by Texas (AHL)
28 Mark Zengerle C GR Signed by Lehigh Valley (AHL)
29 Sean Collins C HER Signed by Kunlun Red Star (KHL)
30 Joe Cannata G UTI Signed with Washington (NHL)
31 Kenny Agostino* LW STK Signed with St. Louis (NHL)
32 Pierre-Cedric Labrie F RFD Re-signed with Chicago (NHL)
33 Alex Friesen F UTI Signed with St. Louis (NHL)
34 Ryan Bourque C HER Re-signed with Hershey (AHL)
35 Derek Grant C STK Signed with Buffalo (NHL)
36 Mike Kostka D BNG Re-signed by Ottawa (NHL)
37 Matt Irwin D PRO Signed with Nashville (NHL)
38 Justin Peters G HER Signed with Arizona (NHL)
39 Trent Vogelhuber F LE Signed with Colorado (NHL)
40 John McCarthy LW SJ Re-signed with San Jose (AHL)
41 Greg Rallo C TEX Signed with Iserlohn Roosters (DEL)
42 Brad Hunt D BAK Signed with St. Louis (NHL)
43 Jim O’Brien F ALB Signed with Colorado (NHL)
44 Trevor Parkes F SJ Hard working, physical player who saw his work payoff in a big way. 18 goals and 41 points in an increased role for San Jose.
45 Tom McCollum G GR Solid veteran backup. Wins are down, but GAA and SV% remain consistent at right around 2.37 and .920
46 Reid Petryk F SA Re-signed with Colorado (NHL)
47 John Albert C MTB Signed by Karpat Oulu in Finland
48 Antoine Laganiere F SD 6’4″ centerman whose numbers have improved every season.
49 Jeff Schultz D ONT Signed by Anaheim (NHL)
50 Greg Carey F SPR Signed with Philadelphia (NHL)
51 Taylor Fedun D UTI Signed with Buffalo (NHL)
52 Marc Andre Gragnani D ALB Signed with Dinamo Minsk (KHL)
53 Andre Benoit D CHI Signed by Malmo (SHL)
54 Anton Khudobin G SD Signed with Boston (NHL)
55 Andrew Miller C BAK Signed with Carolina (NHL)
56 Patrick Mullen D MIL Signed try-out with Dinamo Riga (KHL)
57 Zach Sill C HER Re-signed with Washington (NHL)
58 Cameron Gaunce D POR Signed with Pittsburgh (NHL)
59 Jeremy Welsh C CHI NHL experienced center good for about 20 goals for your AHL team.
60 Zach Boychuk F BAK At just 26, the well traveled Boychuk is a good NHL callup option. Looking to get back to the 55 points he put up for Charlotte in 13-14.
61 Jeremy Morin F SJ Signed with Tampa Bay (NHL)
62 Tim Schaller C RCH Signed with Boston (NHL)
63 Kris Newbury F ONT Very good, well traveled AHL player, playing for 7 teams in 12 seasons.
64 Peter Harrold D CHI Was third in points amongst D on an underachiveing Chicago team. Veteran who has NHL experience.
65 Tommy Cross D PRO Re-signed with Boston (NHL)
66 Jordan Swarz RW SPR Winger who can chip in about 25 points a season.
67 Derek Hulak LW TEX Signed with Utica (AHL)
68 Brett Sutter F ONT Re-signed with Ontario (AHL)
69 Lucas Lessio LW STJ Traded from Arizona to Montreal. Spent second half with Habs. Has combination of speed and size.
70 Ross Mauermann F SPR Rookie who played in every game for Springfield last year. Durability shouldn’t be an issue.
71 Rob Bordson F IA Signed with Fischtown Pinguins (DEL)
72 Justin Holl D TOR Re-signed by Toronto (NHL)
73 Brian Gibbons C HFD Speedy winger good on PK. Decent numbers with Hartford, 23 points.
74 Dan Ellis G HER Despite stellar second half to his season, Ellis found himself backing up Justin Peters in the Calder Cup Playoffs. At 36-years-old, Ellis will probably be looking for an AHL contract.
75 Rob Flick C POR Depth two-way forward. Last two seasons scored 20+ points.
76 Blair Jones F CHA Verteran whose numbers are declining as he ages.
77 Erik Burgdoerfer D HER Signed by Buffalo (NHL)
78 Dave Dziurzynski LW BNG Signed by Iserlohn (DEL)
79 Aaron Dell G SJ Re-signed with San Jose (NHL)
80 Casey DeSmith G WBS Re-signed with Wilkes-Barre / Scranton (AHL)
81 Colby Robak D RCH Reliable AHL defenseman. Has a good first pass and is an impressive skater for his size.
82 Jeff Hoggan F GR 38 year old veteran leader and former Fred T. Hunt winner. Type of player you want your youngsters to learn from.
83 Nick Tarnasky LW HFD The veteran still can fight and score, scoring more (15 goals) than fighting (9 fights) for HFD.
84 Bobby Sanguinetti D RCH Coming off of a down year after a resurgence with UTI the year prior. Had a nagging upper body injury shut him down in March.
85 Corban Knight C POR 20 NHL games under his belt this season. May be a bit underrated. Good vision.
86 Zach O’Brien F CHI Disciplined player who did not have a single penalty minute last year with the Wolves.
87 David Wohlberg F CHA Brought in by the Checkers on a PTO, earned a contract and played the most games. Lunch-pail type player that makes his linemates better.
88 Chris Butler D CHI Re-signed with St. Louis (NHL)
89 Dustin Gazley F HER Re-signed with Hershey (AHL)
90 Brett Findlay F TOR Re-signed with Toronto (AHL)
91 Jason LaBarbera G LV Retired
92 Dan DeSalvo F MTB Bowling Green product turned enough heads to earn a callup from ECHL Tulsa and stuck. 14 points in 17 games.
93 Tyson Strachan D IA 6’3 defenseman with loads of experience.
94 Brandon McNally F STJ Third or fourth line agressive grinder out of Darthouth. Poised for a breakout.
95 Davis Drewiske D LV Veteran presence on young LV blueline.
96 Sahir Gill F WBS Re-signed with Wilkes-Barre / Scranton (AHL)
97 Scooter Vaughan D CHI Re-signed with Chicago (AHL)
98 Matt Mangene D TEX Versatile defender who is finding an offensive touch. Can QB a PP. Can be top 4 AHL defender in the right system.
99 Nate Guenin D SA Signed with Anaheim (NHL)
100 Turner Elson* LW STK Signed by Colorado (NHL)

Below find the, “best of the rest” but please keep in mind that some players (indicated with an asterisk) were restricted free agents not tendered an offer by their NHL team thus making them a Free Agent. They could, hypothetically, be included above in the Top 100 but for ease of build, were not because of the uncertainty of them being tendered an offer.

Here is the list, alphabetized by last name…

Name Position 2015-16 Team Comments
Sena Acolatse D POR Hard nosed defender who can throw.
Luke Adam* C HFD With a very extensive travel resume, Adam has proved he can play almost anywhere very consistently.
Andrew Agozzino RW SA Signed with St. Louis (NHL)
Sami Aittokalio* G SA Played all season in Europe. Hasn’t been able to put it together in N. America
Brandon Alderson* RW LV Struggled early, sent to ECHL and only had sporadic returns to AHL as injury fill-in.
Conor Allen D IA UMass-Amherst product bounced around with three teams last year, has some NHL experience.
Mark Alt* D LV Top pair defenseman. Needs to stay healthy. May have been re-signed by PHI.
Mike Angelidis LW SYR Top notch character guy that will be the catalyst of your team’s penalty killing unit. He’s a solid net front presence and a natural leader.
Darren Archibald F UTI Re-signed with Utica (AHL)
Derek Army F WBS AHL journeyman played on 4 teams last year.
Bill Arnold* C STK Physical two way center saw his numbers take a dip and it cost him a qualifying offer from Calgary.
Spencer Asuchak F CHI Won a Kelly Cup with Allen. (ECHL) Depth wingers who can contribute from time to time.
Sean Backman F ONT Re-signed with Ontario (AHL)
Matt Bailey* C SD Career high 19 pts in 51 AHL games.
Shane Bakker F STJ ECHL fill-in. 2 points in his AHL career.
Victor Bartley D STJ Signed with Minnesota (NHL)
Cody Beach* RW CHI Missed a lot of time last year due to injury and suspension. Agitating power forward.
Gabriel Beaupre* D SA Was not qualified by COL. Decent skill on back end. Questionable AHL’er.
Taylor Beck* RW SA Signed with Edmonton (NHL)
Brett Bellmore D PRO Signed with Kunlun Red Star (KHL)
Alex Belzile C SA Re-signed with San Antonio (AHL)
Mac Bennett* D STJ Signed with Rochester (AHL)
Stu Bickel D SD Re-signed with Anaheim (NHL)
Danny Biega* D CHA Injury cut short his season, one where he only played 27 games.
Tyler Biggs* RW WBS Injuries have derailed a once promising career. 115 games played through three seasons.
Paul Bissonnette F ONT Re-signed with Ontario (AHL)
Mike Blunden RW SYR Signed with Ottawa (NHL)
Kyle Bonis F SD Bottom 6 AHL’er. Split time between Toledo and SD
Patrick Bordeleau LW SA Former enforcer who doesn’t bring much to a roster anymore.
Michael Bournival LW STJ Signed with Tampa Bay (NHL)
Austen Brassard* RW MTB Power forward who went unqualified by Winnipeg. Fourth in scoring on a bad Moose team, he’s looking for a fresh start.
Chris Breen D PRO Re-signed with Providence (AHL)
David Broll* LW SYR 6’2, 236 pound self-proclaimed “Broll-Dozer.” He’s on the ice to hit, open up ice for his linemates, and drop the mitts.
Tyler Brown F HFD Lower line winger. 13 points last season.
Brett Bulmer* RW IA Plays a rat style game but is subject to injuries. Not qualified by MIN.
Erik Burgdoerfer D HER An impressive season for Burgdoerfer should set him up to get his first ever NHL deal this offseason.
Brandon Burlon D ALB Signed with Tucson Roadrunners (AHL)
Jarrett Burton F WBS Signed with Wilkes-Barre / Scranton (AHL)
Anthony Camara* LW CHA Offensively gifted. Injury cut short his season. Late-season add from Providence.
Matt Carey F IA Nearly 50 points for Quad City (ECHL) last year. 21 points for Rockford the season prior.
Chris Carlisle D BNG Re-signed with Binghamton (AHL)
Sam Carrick* C TOR Signed with Chicago (NHL)
Josh Chapman D RCH Classic crease cleaner. Not a great skater, but still young enough to improve.
Michael Chaput* C LE Signed with Vancouver (NHL)
Trevor Cheek* F SA Bottom 6 AHL player. Played well for Ft Wayne. Avs likely to move on and not give QO.
Andrew Cherniwchan F PRO Returning to the P-Bruins after a short stay in Springfield, the Right Winger playing his most games yet during a season at 55, picked up 4 goals and 4 assists.
Daniel Cleary RW GR Veteran winger had his 2015-16 season cut short by injury. May retire.
Marc-Andre Cliche C BRI Signed with Toronto (NHL)
Rich Clune LW TOR Re-signed with Toronto (NHL)
Jack Combs F HFD Dominates ECHL, hasn’t figured out AHL.
Adam Comrie D LV Signed wiith Syracuse (AHL)
Patrice Cormier C MTB Player dogged by past injuries played 65 games for Manitoba. A power forward who can play center.
Patrick Cullity D BRI Cullity split his year between BRI and ECHL’s Missouri. In Missouri, he showed strong progress with 8 goals and +20 on the half season.
Kyle Cumiskey D RFD Signed with Skellefteå (SHL)
Kodie Curran D HFD 18 games with Hartford, used as a defensive depth recall from ECHL Greenville.
Kevin Czuczman D BRI Still improving over the first few of years in the pros, doubling his points over the previous season (7 up to 15).
Jerry D’Amigo RW RCH Speedy forward that doesn’t always have great finish. Can play both wings. Wore an ‘A’ with two AHL clubs.
Derek DeBlois F LE Played a lot in the first half of the season then was sent to ECHL and tore it up.
Mark Dekanich G HER Has yet to revisit the pinnacle which made him an AHL All-Star a few years ago. Was buried in a backup role in ECHL South Carolina.
Steven Delisle D SPR Defender with a snarl.
Philip DeSimone F LV Joined LV in second half of season from Europe. Solid bottom six goal scorer.
Jamie Devane LW MIL Signed PTO with Calgary (NHL)
Joe Devin RW LE One of a long list of players that has better success in ECHL than in AHL.
Josiah Didier D STJ Re-signed with St. John’s (AHL)
Darren Dietz* D STJ Signed with Washington (NHL)
Jon DiSalvatore F SPR Veteran who may be past his prime. Saw more ECHL than AHL last year.
Charlie Dodero D SYR Signed with Idaho (ECHL)
Taylor Doherty D TOR Signed with Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL)
Matt Donovan D RCH Signed with Frolunda (Sweden)
Nick Drazenovic C SA Signed out of necessity when the injuries started piling up. Filled in admirably on 3rd line.
Travis Ehrhardt D UTI A bit undersized for a defenseman, but 2015-16 was a career year for Ehrhardt.
Markus Eisenschmid F STJ Re-signed with St. John’s (AHL)
Matt Ellis F RCH Veteran forward brings tenacity and penalty killing, but little offense. Has captained three AHL teams.
Morgan Ellis* D STJ Signed with St. Louis (NHL)
Turner Elson* LW STK 30 point scorer at AHL level. High energy, physical winger wasn’t qualifed by Calgary.
Ray Emery G LV Journeyman found his way to LV after injuries necessiated his services.
Steve Eminger D LE Solid veteran D with NHL experience.
Sean Escobedo D MTB Boston University product has played for 5 AHL teams so far at age 25. More success at ECHL level.
Brennan Evans D TEX Veteran defensive presence on young Stars blue line.
Travis Ewanyk* C BNG Gritty Oil Kings product who can throw.
Eric Faille F TOR Re-signed with Toronto (AHL)
Justin Falk D LE Signed with Buffalo (NHL)
Joe Faust D ALB Signed with Idaho (ECHL)
Ruslan Fedotenko LW IA 15+ years of pro experience. Numbers have steadily declined in past 5 seasons.
Kyle Flanagan F BNG Re-signed with Binghamton (AHL)
Justin Florek LW BRI One of two Sound Tigers to play every game, production took a tumble from his 30+ point days with Providence.
Stefan Fournier* RW SPR Decent bottom six winger, but at this level, sometime gets lost as a dime a dozen AHLer.
Mark Fraser D BNG Signed with Edmonton (NHL)
Matt Fraser* F RFD Big hitter with a big shot. Physical type forwward. Not qualified by Chicago.
Matt Frattin F TOR 48 points two seasons ago. Was a role player for TOR last year. Was traded to Ottawa but stuck with the Marlies.
Jiri Fronk F MTB Re-signed with Manitoba (AHL)
Matt Garbowsky F RCH Great scoring touch but has had some trouble finding space in the AHL.
Barry Goers D WBS Re-Signed with Wilkes-Barre (AHL)
Jared Gomes F BRI Gomes shows great promise after a less than stellar year in the DEL. Gomes increased his point total from 14 to 17 and also upped his +/- from -10 to +6.
Brandon Gormley* D SA Played better in NHL. Struggled in AHL. Sources in Denver indicate his attitude was questionable. Will receive QO.
Kirill Gotovets D RFD A bit undersized at 5’11 196 playing defense in the Western Conference. Offense-defensemen OK on PP.
Kevin Goumas F LV Signed with Mora IK (Sweden)
Alexander Guptill* LW RCH Couldn’t stay in either Rochester or Binghamton’s lineup. Looks like ECHL depth.
Kyle Hagel D CHA Re-signed with Charlotte (AHL)
Ryan Haggerty* RW RFD Played every game for Hartford two seasons ago but was limited to 36 games with Rockford this year and not tendered a qualifying offer.
Michael Haley C SJ Re-signed with San Jose (NHL)
Justin Hamonic D SA Played just 7 games in San Antonio failing to register a point. Big stay at home D. ECHL depth player.
Jay Harrison D MTB Well traveled veteran defender could be brought in as a mentor.
Aaron Harstad D MTB Goood size. Defensive defenseman. Work ethic has been questioned.
Eriah Hayes F CHI Fluid skater with a hard shot. Has battled injuries.
Mitchell Heard F STK Signed with Charlotte (AHL)
Caleb Herbert* C HER Signed with Texas (AHL)
Brock Higgs F SA 42 points in 69 games with Gwinnett (ECHL)
Danny Hobbs F BNG ECHL scorer hasn’t found same success in AHL yet.
Cason Hohmann RW RCH Young for a college player. Tore up the ECHL as a rookie. Great passer from the wing. Size could be an issue.
Ryan Horvat F ONT AHL depth player. Consistent bottom 6’er.
Jackson Houck F SA Late season addition on ATO. Former 4th round pick (EDM)
Raman Hrabarenka* D ALB Injuries & ineffectiveness at times saw the 4th year defenseman’s stats slide from his breakout year last season, not tendered a QO from New Jersey.
Tommy Hughes D HFD Not offensively gifted. Ups and down defensively.
Tim Jackman F SD Career NHL grinder who appeared in 22 games with the Gulls.
Colin Jacobs* C RCH Big, two way forward that can forecheck and score a little. Has seen AHL playing time decrease three staright seasons.
Connor Jones F BRI Re-signed with Bridgeport (AHL)
Kellen Jones F UTI Signed by Bridgeport (AHL)
Patrick Kaleta RW RCH Once a physical presence, injuries have run things off the rails. Played just 26 games in 2015-16. Was never much of a scorer.
Zack Kamrass D TEX AHL depth defender.
Cory Kane C TEX Signed with HC Oceláři Trinec (Czech)
Dan Kelly D ALB Signed by New Jersey (NHL)
Ronalds Kenins F UTI Two-way Latvian who plays all over the ice. Earned aan 8 game callup with Vancouver this past season.
Kale Kessy* LW BAK 6’3 high motor winger that can fight, skate and handle the puck well.
Kevin King F TEX ECHL depth didn’t impress on Texas PTO.
Jared Knight* RW IA Signed with Esbjerg Energy (Denmark)
David Kolomatis D TOR Used to be a 30 point a year scorer, may be able to reclaim that again on the right team.
Darren Kramer F MTB Re-signed with Manitoba (AHL)
Adam Krause F WBS Re-signed with Wilkes-Barre / Scranton (AHL)
John Kurtz F TOR Fourth liner who can fight.
Hubert Labrie D CHI Signed with Hershey (AHL)
Kane Lafranchise D BRI Re-signed with Bridgeport (AHL)
John Landry D UTI Might be the only AHL free agent on the big board with a pilots license. Veteran defender had 26 points on a good Comets team.
Phil Lane F SPR Second round pick by Arizona hasn’t lived up to his draft status. Hasn’t cracked 25 points in the AHL.
Jeremy Langlois C SJ Signed with Rockford (AHL)
Zac Larraza F SD Former Arizona draft pick. 7 points in 22 games with MIL and SD.
Matt Lashoff D LV Veteran defender that had injuries limit him to 17 games.
Pierre-Luc Leblond F ALB Signed with Tampa Bay (NHL)
Jerome Leduc* D BNG 26 points and a lone bright spot on a bad Binghamton team.
Josh Leivo* LW TOR Reisigned with Toronto (NHL)
Guilliaume Lepine D BNG Left handed shot from Montreal can fight.
Michael Liambas LW RFD Signed with Nashville (NHL)
Nathan Lieuwen* G RCH Signed with San Antonio (AHL)
Ty Loney F WBS Showed flashes of brilliance at times with Pens, but is a dime a dozen type of player.
Matt MacKenzie D POR Better ECHL numbers last year. Plug him in as your 5th or 6th option on defense.
Andrew MacWilliam D MTB Signed with New Jersey (NHL)
Daniel Maggio RW SA Old time hockey fighter. Highlight of season was knocking out Brian McGrattan. Has no other discernible skills.
Colin Markison F BRI Still developing his game in the minors, picking up 11 points in 39 games for the Sound Tigers.
James Martin D TOR A bit overshadowed a bit playing on the same blueline as T.J. Brennan and Connor Carrick.
Ryan Martindale F SYR Signed with Esbjerg (Denmark)
Andreas Martinsen* F SA Re-signed by Colorado (NHL)
Derek Mathers* RW LV Re-sigtned with Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL)
Nick Mattson D RFD Re-signed with Rockford (AHL)
John McCarron F WBS Undrafted. Overshadowed. Could still make an impact.
Steve McCarthy D LE 35 year old defender spent most of his time in ECHL last year. May be looking at retirement or Europe.
Chris McCarthy* C HFD In 53 games, McCarthy showed promise picking up a decent 22 points.
John McFarland* LW POR Signed with SaiPa (Liiga)
Patrick McGrath F WBS Re-signed with Wilkes-Barre / Scranton (AHL)
Brian McGrattan RW SD Long time NHL enforcer, 144 PIMs and a surprising 17 points in 58 games.
Greg McKegg* C POR Re-signed by Florida (NHL)
Frazer McLaren LW SJ A victim of an evolving game. 14 games for the Barracuda for the scrapper McLaren.
Mike McMurtry C TEX Re-signed with Texas (AHL)
Allan McPherson F RCH Prolific ECHL scorer that hasn’t seen it translate to a higher level.
Corbin McPherson D ALB Most reliable of the Devils blueliners, but saw role diminish late with a crowded roster. Solid defensive play while in the lineup.
Philip McRae F BAK Battled injuries. Good on the power play. When healthy in right situation is good for 30-35 points a year.
Wade Megan F POR Signed by St. Louis (NHL)
James Melindy* D WBS Signed with Wichita (ECHL)
Garrett Meurs* F SA Questionable draft pick turns into poor player. Shocker. Probably won’t be qualified.
Angelo Miceli F STJ Good skater and offensively skilled. Split his time in the ECHL and AHL.
Domenic Monardo F SPR Signed with Hershey (AHL)
Mike Moore D HER Signed with Fischtown Pinguins (DEL)
Bryan Moore F SD Good 19 game stretch with ECHL Utah. AHL contract candidate.
Joey Mormina D RCH Big, solid defender with huge reach. Underrated passer, kills penalties
C.J. Motte G RCH Promising ECHL results as a rookie. Could be an AHL team’s third goalie.
John Negrin D UTI Re-signed with Utica (AHL)
Jack Nevins* LW RCH Bruising forechecker and willing pugilist. Won’t provide much offense.
Daniel New D SPR Providence College product had just 23 games between AHL / ECHL last year.
Jared Nightengale D CHI Gritty veteran defender.
Nikita Nikitin D BAK Fell out of favor with Edmonton. Work ethic is a question as is conditioning.
Max Novak F ALB Re-signed by Albany (AHL)
Garry Nunn F SA Re-signed with San Antonio (AHL)
Shane O’Brien D SD Big puck moving D-man. Trouble with decision making and discipline.
Dan O’Donaghue* C WBS See James Melindy.
Shawn O’Donnell F HFD Banger who had 4 fights and two points with the Wolf Pack.
Travis Oleksuk F HFD Signed with HC Bolzano (EBEL)
Steve Oleksy D WBS Re-signed with Pittsburgh (NHL)
Dylan Olsen* D POR Capable defender who can fill in as a 7th defenseman on your NHL team, if he can stay healthy.
Brett Olson C POR Signed with EC Red Bull Salzburg (EBEL)
Joni Ortio* G STK Backed up Kevin Poulin in Stockton and had terrible numbers. The Heat were a bad team, so this is a surprising yet unsurprising non-qualify by Calgary.
Michael Paliotta* D LE Signed with New York Rangers (NHL)
Aaron Palushaj RW LV Veteran forward tailing off. 28 points in 57 games.
Philippe Paradis C SYR 2009 first round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes is an absolute wrecking ball when he is on the ice. An ACL tear in 2015 and nagging injuries this past season raise questions about his future.
Ryan Parent D WBS Veteran defender still has it. Underrated signing by Wilkes-Barre last year.
Rod Pelley F ALB Re-signed with Albany (AHL)
Joe Pendenza F MIL UMass-Lowell product has split work between AHL and ECHL. Speedy.
Ryan Penny F BNG Scorer out of the Q. Good depth forward.
Stuart Percy* D TOR Signed with Pittsburgh (NHL)
Mike Pereira F UTI Signed with Reading (ECHL)
Joe Piskula D SD Veteran defender with good size and decent puck skills.
Mattias Plachta* LW WBS Signed with Adler Mannheim (DEL)
Kevin Poulin* G STK Starter for Stockton and had mediocre numbers and was not tendered a qualifying offer by Calgary.
Matt Prapavessis D RCH Signed by Greenville (ECHL)
Brandon Prust F UTI Left Utica after 9 games citing an ankle issue. Tried to rehab, but ultimately had offseason ankle surgery.
Thomas Raffl F MTB Signed by Salzburg (Austria)
Kevin Raine D ONT 112 games played over past two seasons isn’t bad for an undrafted player on a Cup contending team.
Alexandre Ranger F STJ Undrafted product from the QMJHL. Big ECHL numbers that havent converted to AHL yet.
Evan Rankin F UTI Re-signed with Toledo (ECHL)
Joel Rechlicz F GR Signed with Jonquière Marquis (LNAH)
Zach Redmond D SA Signed with Montreal (NHL)
Dylan Reese D SPR Limited to 28 games last year. 40 points with Portland two years ago. NHL window closing quickly
Joe Rehkamp F LV Signed by Reading (ECHL)
Borna Rendulic* F SA Signed with Vancouver (NHL)
Blair Riley F STK Signed with Belfast Gianst (EIHL)
Jay Rosehill F LV Signed by Braehead Clan (EIHL)
Garret Ross* LW RFD Signed with Arizona (NHL)
Marc-Olivier Roy F BAK Rookie from the Q is a strong skater. Needs to work on his two-way game.
Chad Ruhwedel D RCH Signed with Pittsburgh (NHL)
Harrison Ruopp* D WBS ECHL depth defender not offered a QO by PIT. 19 AHL games the past two seasons.
Kenny Ryan F SD Signed with Cincinnati (ECHL)
Scott Sabourin* RW IA Big power forward not qualified by MIN. Has size and good work ethic but not much offense.
Jordan Samuels-Thomas F ONT Decent skill for his size. Can put him in anywhere in the lineup as a depth option.
Philip Samuelsson* D SPR Signed with Montreal (NHL)
Carter Sandlak* LW CHA Signed by Grand Griffins (AHL)
Michael Schumacher F SA Giant forward. Plays hard, but is not skilled or quick. Good AHL bottom 6 option.
John Scott LW STJ NHL, yes, NHL All-Star. Towering 6’7 winger who can fight.
Ben Scrivens G STJ Signed with Dinamo Minsk (KHL)
Michael Sdao D RCH A big hitter that won’t kill a team with penalty minutes. Will drop the gloves. Nothing flashy but gets the job done.
Eric Selleck C SPR Signed with Tucson Roadrunners (AHL)
Brennan Serville D MTB Michigan product plagued by injuries. Book on him is two-way defender.
Tom Sestito LW WBS Re-signed with Pittsburgh (NHL)
Ben Sexton* C PRO Down year production wise, 29 games and 5 points to go with a -13 +/- rating.
Clark Seymour D WBS ECHL depth defender. 29 AHL games in last two seasons.
David Shields D UTI Re-signed with Utica (AHL)
Brendan Shinnimin C SPR Signed by Langnau (NLA)
Drew Shore* C STK Signed with ELC Kloten (NLA)
Justin Shugg* RW CHA Signed try-out with Dinamo Riga (KHL)
Frankie Simonelli D PRO Signed with Bakersfield (AHL)
Wayne Simpson F POR Very successful tenure in Portland. 36 points. Offensive creator.
Ben Smith F TOR Production was down because Smith was on a good team. Could be a bit of an NHL hangover.
Derek Smith D SPR Signed with Medvescak Zagreb (KHL)
Colin Smith* C TOR Signed with Toronto (AHL)
Alex Stalock G TOR Signed with Minnesota (NHL)
Ryan Stanton* D HER Signed with Colorado (NHL)
Dustin Stevenson D STK Signed by Dallas (NHL)
Karl Stollery D SJ Signed by New Jersey (NHL)
Peter Stoykewych D MTB Re-signed with Manitoba (AHL)
Ben Street C SA Signed with Detroit (NHL)
Brody Sutter F CHA Re-signed with Carolina (NHL)
Kevin Tansey D BNG 6’4 rookie from Clarkson, 11 games with BNG last year.
Brad Thiessen G LE Former Baz Bastien winner has knocked around a few teams in the AHL and ECHL since going to Finland. At 30, can mentor a young rookie.
Christian Thomas* F SPR Signed with Washington (NHL)
Garrett Thompson LW SA Signed by Fort Wayne (ECHL)
Scott Timmins F SJ Signed by Straubing Tigers (DEL)
Rasmus Tirronen* G CHA Signed with Espoo United (Finland)
Zach Torquato F CHI Signed with Cortina (AlpsHL)
Niklas Treutle* G SPR Carried the lions share of starts for a piss poor Springfield Falcons team. Numbers were as one would expect. No QO from Arizona.
Evan Trupp F CHI Signed with Ausburger (DEL)
Tony Turgeon F POR 6’4 Bismarck Bobcat can play up front or on the blueline. Depth fill-in type player.
Nick Tuzzolino D BNG Mainly used as an ECHL call-up. Capable defender.
Justin Vaive* LW BRI After a solid season in Hartford two seasons ago, (32 pts.) production cut in half down the road in Bridgeport. (17 pts.)
Curtis Valk F UTI Re-signed with Utica (AHL)
Bryce Van Brabant* LW STK His -21 was team worst on a Stockton team that missed playoffs. Non-qualified RFA.
Yannick Veilleux* LW CHI Best year as a pro points wise last year.
Linden Vey* F UTI Signed by Calgary (NHL)
Ben Walker C MTB ECHL depth center.
Dane Walters F RFD Western Michigan University product. ECHL depth forward can fill in here and there.
Will Weber D SA Humongous D-man. Good season in ECHL, played just 2 games in San Antonio.
Ethan Werek F CHA ECHL call-up that you can plug into any situation.
Garrett Wilson LW POR Signed with Pittsburgh (NHL)
James Wright* C BRI Two-way player that had a breakout year. -14 a bit of a concern though.
Andrew Yogan F STJ 6’3 center who looks to pass instead of shoot. (whoops, posted twice)
Andrew Yogan F IA Rangers draft pick never panned out. Point plus a game player at ECHL level, not close at AHL level.
Gus Young D SJ Signed with Chicago (AHL)
Harry Zolnierczyk LW SD Signed with Nashville (NHL)

This list will be updated as Free Agency wears on beginning July 1.

One response to “2016 AHL Top 100 Free Agents and Beyond — The Big Board

  1. Pingback: 2016 Free Agent Tracker (as of 7/1/16) | Thoughts Inside The Box

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