"Is (my favorite player) coming back next year?"

“Is [my favorite player] coming back next year?”

May 29, 2019

Updated: August 28, 2019 – 8:00 a.m.


For the hockey operations department of a professional team, the summer is just as important as the six months of the regular season – if not more-so. It's the time of year when 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 2018-19 campaign with the Sound Tigers (and some others) and where they stand heading into the 2019-20 season.


Before getting started, keep in mind AHL rosters have the potential to change considerably from year to year. For instance, 18 players who appeared in at least 30 games with Bridgeport during the 2017-18 season returned last year.


Now for what you came for. Keep in mind that many of the players in the “Signed for 2019-20” 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 2019-20


F   Cole Bardreau (NHL/AHL) - Signed two-year, two-way deal on 7/2/19

F   Kieffer Bellows (NHL)*

F   Steve Bernier (AHL) - Signed AHL deal on 7/12/19

F   Ryan Bourque (AHL) - Signed two-year, AHL deal on 7/9/18

F   Erik Brown (AHL) - Signed AHL deal on 6/28/19

F   Robert “Bobo” Carpenter (NHL)*

F   Michael Dal Colle (NHL) - Signed two-year deal with NY Islanders on 8/19/19

F   Arnaud Durandeau (NHL)*

F   Scott Eansor (NHL/AHL) - Signed two-year, two-way deal on 3/15/18

F   Tanner Fritz (NHL) - Signed two-year deal with NY Islanders on 5/31/19

F   Ryan Hitchcock (AHL) – Signed two-year, AHL deal on 5/1/18

F   Josh Ho-Sang (NHL) - Signed one-year deal with NY Islanders on 8/19/19

F   Simon Holmstrom (NHL)*

F   Mason Jobst (NHL)*

F   Otto Koivula (NHL)*

F   Jeff Kubiak (AHL) - Signed AHL deal on 6/28/19

F   Matt Lorito (NHL/AHL) - Signed two-year, two-way deal on 7/2/18

F   Kyle MacLean (AHL) - Signed AHL deal on 7/12/19

F   Nic Pierog (AHL) - Signed AHL deal on 7/12/19

F   Nick Schilkey (AHL) - Signed AHL deal on 7/12/19

F   Travis St. Denis (NHL/AHL) - Signed two-year, two-way deal on 5/8/18

F   John Stevens (AHL) - Signed AHL deal on 7/12/19

F   Yanick Turcotte (AHL) - Signed AHL deal on 6/28/19

F   Oliver Wahlstrom (NHL)*


D   Sebastian Aho (NHL)*

D   Kyle Burroughs (NHL/AHL) - Signed two-year, two-way deal on 7/16/18

D   Mike Cornell (AHL) - Signed AHL deal on 7/12/19

D   Seth Helgeson (NHL/AHL) - Signed two-year, two-way deal on 7/2/18

D   Grant Hutton (NHL)*

D   Ryan MacKinnon (AHL) - Signed AHL deal on 7/12/19

D   Justin Murray (AHL) - Signed AHL deal on 6/28/19

D   David Quenneville (NHL)*

D   Mitch Vande Sompel (NHL)*

D   Parker Wotherspoon (NHL)*


G   Jared Coreau (NHL/AHL) - Signed one-year, two-way deal on 7/10/19

G   Christopher Gibson (NHL/AHL) - Signed two-year, two-way deal on 7/2/18

G   Jakub Skarek (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





Unrestricted free agents are free to sign with any team in the NHL, AHL or anywhere else in the world.


Unrestricted Free Agents


F   Chris Bourque - Signed with EHC Munchen (DEL) on 5/27/19

F   Stephen Gionta - Hired by Tampa Bay (NHL) as pro scout on 8/1/19

F   Ben Holmstrom - Signed with Norfolk Admirals (ECHL) on 8/27/19

F   Josh Holmstrom - Signed with Norfolk Admirals (ECHL) on 8/6/19

F   Connor Jones - Signed with HC Thurgau (NLB) on 5/16/19

F   Mike Sislo - Signed with Grizzlys Wolfsburg (DEL) on 7/10/19 


D   Chris Casto

D   Yannick Rathgeb - Signed with EHC Biel-Bienne (NLA) on 5/20/19


G   Mitch Gillam - Signed with Wichita Thunder (ECHL) on 7/30/19

G   Jeremy Smith - Signed with Kunlun Red Star (KHL) on 6/10/19



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.


Stay tuned!

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