Chirps from Center Ice

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

2019 Offseason Moves

This is a page to follow along with throughout the summer to keep track of all incoming and outgoing signings. If you spot any errors, please feel free to reach out to me so I can correct.

Currently I have tables split into five; AHL contacted free agents, unrestricted NHL contracted free agents, restricted NHL free agents, players under contract and ATO / PTO guys added late in the season.

I’ll update this page with signings and departures throughout the summer.

Note that this only applies to players who played in or are expected to play in the AHL in 2019-2020. Note that I consider Zach Aston-Reese and Teddy Blueger (restricted) along with Garrett Wilson (unrestricted) as graduated to NHL so neither are included below.

AHL Contracted Players who are Free Agents

Name Position Notes
Matt Abt Defense Re-signed with Wilkes-Barre June 19.
Cam Brown Forward Has a high motor and is a bit undersized.
Jarrett Burton Forward Signed with Rochester (AHL) July 5.
Tim Erixon Defense Signed with Vaxjo Lakers (DEL) 6/15
Yushi Hirano Forward Second Japanese player to play in AHL. Spent most of his season with Wheeling learning North American game.
Cedric Lacroix Forward 42 points for Wheeling in 72 games with 215 PIMs. Leader in PIMs in AHL last season had a scant 154.
Patrick McGrath Forward Can you ever see him with another team?
Anthony Peters Goaltender Signed with Isterholn Roosters (DEL) on May 15.
Ryan Scarfo Forward Re-signed with Wilkes-Barre June 20.
Trevor Yates Forward Acquired in trade with Grand Rapids for futures. Better ECHL player than AHL.

Unrestricted NHL contracted Free Agents

Kevin Czuczman Defense Re-signed with Pittsburgh June 26.
Jimmy Hayes Forward Got hot in the second half of the season, but is a painstakingly slow skater. He could have another AHL run in him, but don’t be surprised to see him bolt overseas.
John Muse Goaltender I don’t like the way he was handled with the way that the Pens were anchored to Anthony Peters and everything that went with that. You only hope that where he signs next isn’t a division rival.
Ethan Prow Defense Signed by the Florida Panthers July 1.
Ben Sexton Forward Re-signed with Wilkes-Barre July 11.
Chris Summers Defense Same boat as Czuczman but I have the feeling that Pens fans can’t have both.
Zach Trotman Defense Re-signed with Pittsburgh June 26.
Chris Wideman Defense Signed with Anaheim July 15.

Restricted NHL contracted Free Agents

Joseph Blandisi Forward Re-signed with Pittsburgh.
Macoy Erkamps Defense Re-signed with Wilkes-Barre on June 17.
Adam Johnson Forward Re-signed with Pittsburgh July 12.
Juuso Riikola Defense Re-signed with Pittsburgh May 30.
Jeff Taylor Defense Have a feeling that they expected Taylor to be more ahead of the curve. I don’t think he is. Proof will be if he gets qualified or not. Update: The Penguins did not qualify Taylor.
Blake Siebenhaler Defense Re-signed with Wilkes-Barre on June 17.

ATO / PTO players not signed for 2019-20

Chris Brown Forward Signed with Wilkes-Barre July 3.
Danny Fick Defense Great numbers in ECHL. Played one game for WBS on a late season PTO.
Brandon Hawkins Forward ATO add, has heavy shot and scored two goals in five appearances for WBS.
Michael Kim Defense ATO add late in season, I really like what I saw from Kim in the extremely small sample size. Should be a priority signing for Bill Guerin & Company.
Jon Lizotte Defense Signed with Wilkes-Barre June 19.
Matt O’Connor Goaltender Signed with Rødovre Mighty Bulls (Denmark) July 17.

Under NHL or AHL Contract for 2018-19

Calen Addison Defense Has to go back to juniors because he is too young.
Niclas Almari Defense Signed his entry level contract with PIT and should be in WBS in 19-20. Played and won championship with HPK in Finland. Played two games with WBS on ATO in 17-18 and I liked what I saw from him then.
Justin Almeida Forward I think he has to go back to Juniors if he doesn’t stick with Pittsburgh, which I do not forsee happening.
Anthony Angello Forward Hit a bit of a rookie wall last year. Expect better in 2019-20 as he’ll probably be asked to contribute more.
Chase Berger Forward Penn State product who showed signs of flash.
Dane Birks Defense Traded to Arizona in the Phil Kessel deal that brought back P-O Joseph.
Jordy Bellerive Forward Penguins draft pick and incoming rookie. Gaudy numbers with Lethbridge of WHL.
Joseph Cramarossa Forward 16 AHL points last season earned him an NHL contract for 2019-20.
Thomas DiPauli Forward Late December injury took out the remainder of his season. Good on PK.
Jan Drozg Forward Is in the same boat as Almeida I believe.
Ryan Haggerty Forward Earned an NHL contract last season and should be named captain here in the Fall.
Tristan Jarry Goaltender Needs waivers in 2019-20 and with Matt Murray and Casey DeSmith already cemented as 1-2 in PIT, he’s definitely trade bait.
Sam Lafferty Forward WBS’ Rookie of the Year is set to have a breakout season in 19-20.
Jake Lucchini Forward Undrafted add by WBS late last year looks like a diamond in rough type signing.
Sam Miletic Forward Lacked consistency at times but had a pretty good year.
Linus Ölund Forward Loaned to Brynäs IF (SHL) on June 28 for a year.
Oula Palve Forward Don’t know a single thing about him. He’s 27 years old and played in Finland. 19-20 will be the first time he plays on North American ice.

Needs

  • Veteran goaltender for Alex D’Orio. Can’t risk losing Tristan Jarry, who is under contract but now must pass through waivers in the Fall, as a backup. I think what happens with Jarry in the summer (trade likely) sets the table for July 1 with the plan in Wilkes-Barre in the Fall.
  • High impact AHL scorer. The Penguins lacked offensive firepower last season in a big way. Ethan Prow led the team in points, but that’s not really his job to score points. Pittsburgh needs to set up Wilkes-Barre with one or two proven veteran scorers. I joke about players like Chris Bourque, but a player of his caliber would be a perfect fit to compliment the Sam Lafferty’s and Anthony Angello’s already coming back for next year.
  • One or two defensemen in case one of Chris Summers or Kevin Czuczman don’t re-sign. Blueline is looking really, really young next season from here in May 2019.

New Guys

 

Emil Larmi Goaltender Won a title overseas with D Niclas Almari. Here is your insurance policy against losing Tristan Jarry to trade.
Pierre-Oliver Joseph Defenseman Acquired in the Phil Kessel trade, turned 20 on July 1. Had 47 points with Drummondville and Charlottetown in the QMJHL.
Andrew Agozzino Forward 60 points for AHL Colorado. Special teams ace. Not afraid to get his nose dirty either.
David Warsofsky Defense Colorado Eagles’ best defender last season, puts up points wherever he goes too. Ex-Penguin returns.
Dustin Tokarski Goaltender Two time Calder Cup winner, has long list of playoff success. This is your veteran goaltender who is a proven winner.
Myles Powell Forward 31 goals for ECHL Cincy last year, led all rookies. Good depth piece who knows how to score.

Last Update: July 17.