With both the Expansion and Entry Drafts quickly approaching, minor transactions are popping up all across the hockey world. As teams rush to meet expansion requirements and gain a more detailed idea of their organizational makeup ahead of the draft, expect this steady flow of minor deals to continue throughout the summer. You can read all about today’s transactions right here:
- While their big sibling made bigger news today by re-signing Matt Nieto, the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda have announced a slew of moves. Per the team’s site, forwards Joe Garreffa, Krystof Hrabik, and Kyle Topping all signed one-year AHL extensions with the Sharks’ affiliate. Garreffa only got into two games with the Barracuda in 2020-21, but spent 59 games in the ECHL between the Allen Americans and Orlando Solar Bears, tallying 42 points for a decent first professional season. Hrabik played in only one regular-season matchup but had two goals in three games during the AHL’s Pacific Division postseason tournament. Topping got the most AHL action out of the trio, tallying a single goal in four games with the baby Sharks.
- The Barracuda also dipped into the free-agent market, signing a pair of WHL players. The bigger fish of the two is former Portland Winterhawks captain Nick Cicek. Cicek, a Winnipeg-born, 201-pound defenseman, had by far his best offensive campaign to date in 2020-21, tallying 21 points in just 24 WHL games. It was a career-high for him after tallying 13 and 14 points in his previous two seasons. Their other signing, Montana Onyebuchi from the Kamloops Blazers, carries a somewhat similar development pattern. Similar in size (6′ 3″, 209 pounds) to Cicek, Onyebuchi also had an offensive breakout campaign with 12 points in 20 games. The Barracuda hope that the two overagers can boost their defense in the coming years.