Sound Tigers Player Chaser
Updated: June 21, 2018 - 9:30 a.m.
For the hockey ops department of a professional team, the off-season is just as important as the six months of the regular season – if not more-so. It's the time of year when general managers and front office personnel begin the process of roster construction and fans find out the answer to their favorite off-season question: “Is [favorite player] coming back next year?”
It can take quite a while to explain all of the factors that go into whether a player returns from season to season, but we'll do our best to keep you up to date this summer. Below is a list of players who completed the 2017-18 campaign with the Sound Tigers (and some others) and where they stand heading into the 2018-19 season.
Before getting started, keep in mind AHL rosters have the potential to change considerably from year to year. For instance, only 16 players who appeared in at least 10 games with Bridgeport during the 2016-17 season returned last year.
Now for what you came for. Keep in mind that many of the players in the “Signed for 2017-18” category are signed by the New York Islanders (NHL) and not specifically Bridgeport. They will have a chance to make the big club in training camp. In addition, there are players on this list that may not stay with the Sound Tigers after training camp. Players can be assigned to the ECHL, European teams, or reassigned to their junior club in some cases.
Signed for 2018-19
F Kieffer Bellows (NHL)*
F Steve Bernier (NHL/AHL) - Signed two-year, two-way deal on 6/9/17
F Michael Dal Colle (NHL)*
F Scott Eansor (NHL/AHL) - Signed two-year, two-way deal on 3/15/18
F Tanner Fritz (NHL/AHL) - Signed two-year, two-way deal on 3/29/17
F Ryan Hitchcock (AHL) - Signed two-year, AHL deal on 5/1/18
F Josh Ho-Sang (NHL)*
F Otto Koivula (NHL)*
F Travis St. Denis (NHL/AHL) - Signed two-year, two-way deal on 5/8/18
F John Stevens (NHL)*
F Yanick Turcotte (AHL) - Signed two-year, AHL deal on 10/4/17
D Sebastian Aho (NHL)*
D Ryan MacKinnon (AHL) - Signed two-year, AHL deal on 3/20/18
D David Quenneville (NHL)*
D Yannick Rathgeb (NHL/AHL) - Signed two-year, two-way deal on 4/6/18
D Mitch Vande Sompel (NHL)*
D Parker Wotherspoon (NHL)*
G Eamon McAdam (NHL)*
G Linus Soderstrom (NHL)*
*Denotes entry-level contract with the New York Islanders
A restricted free agent usually means it's up to the Islanders whether or not to bring these players back. Players either re-sign with their NHL team from the previous season or become an unrestricted free agent.
Restricted Free Agents
F Kyle Schempp (NHL)
D Kyle Burroughs (NHL)
D Devon Toews (NHL)
Unrestricted free agents are free to sign with any team in the NHL, AHL or anywhere else in the world.
Unrestricted Free Agents
F Casey Bailey
F Ryan Bourque
F Matt Gaudreau
F Stephen Gionta
F Ben Holmstrom
F Josh Holmstrom
F Connor Jones
F Kellen Jones
F Jeff Kubiak
F Matt Lane
D Andre Benoit - Under contract with Columbus (NHL) in 2017-18
D Mike Cornell
D Patrick Cullity
D Seth Helgeson
D Kane Lafranchise
D Tyler Mueller
G Christopher Gibson
G Kristers Gudlevskis - Signed with Dinamo Riga (KHL) on 6/21/18
All NHL contracts run through June 30, which means no team other than the Islanders could sign these players before July 1. All AHL contracts also run through June 30 and those players can sign with any NHL club at any point, however they could not sign with an AHL team (aside from Bridgeport) until July 1.