The collegiate hockey season has come to a close, which means players who aren’t draft eligible are free to sign NHL contracts as undrafted free agents.
This year’s crop of talent is extremely deep, and might even feature a few potential impactful players.
Kenney Morrison, Adirondack Flames(AHL) – Many scouts believe Morrison was the best defensive free agent of the 2015 class. He signed a deal to play with the Calgary Flames in March, and has already made quite the statement in his professional career. In his first game with the Adirondack Flames, the AHL affiliate of Calgary, Morrison scored three points. Depending on his progression in the AHL, Morrison might see time with Calgary next season. The team is relatively stacked at the defensive position, but a call up is not out of the question.
Matt O’Connor, Boston University – O’Connor might be one of the strongest goalie prospects of the last five years. He — and potential top-three NHL Entry Draft pick — Jack Eichel, led the Boston Terriers to the Frozen Four. This season, O’Connor went 25-4-4 with a .927 save percentage. While O’Connor hasn’t selected an NHL team as of press time, he has narrowed his choices to four possible landing spots, Edmonton, New York (Rangers), Vancouver, and Ottawa.
Evan Rodrigues, Boston University – Like O’Connor, Rodrigues is a product of a loaded Boston University squad. He just recently signed a deal with the Buffalo Sabres, and it’s widely speculated the move is an opportunity to pair Rodrigues with former Boston University teammate, Jack Eichel, when the Sabres select him second in the NHL Entry Draft. The 2014-15 season has been the best of Rodrigues’s collegiate career. He recorded 61 points for the Terriers, and led the nation in assists per game. Sabres General Manager Tim Murray spoke to NHL.com about the team’s most recent addition.
“Evan is a very talented young player who has displayed exceptional growth during his four years at BU. We look forward to adding another talented piece to our group.”
Casey Bailey, Penn State – It didn’t take Bailey long to sign, or play with an NHL team. Just over a week after he left Penn State, Bailey was on the ice for the Toronto Maple Leafs. While he didn’t record a point for the team, he was able to produce 40 points, 22 of which were goals for the Nittany Lions, and became the first Penn State product to play in the NHL.