Opening Night of the 2021-22 NHL campaign has finally arrived and all eyes are on the season-opening matchups between the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins and the league’s newest team, the Seattle Kraken, and the Vegas Golden Knights. Yet, it has also been a very busy day for “minor” transactions, both the advent of regular NHL recalls and reassignments as well as several notable signings and trades. Keep up with all of these moves right here:
- AHL trades are not common, but there is already one in the books for this season. The Belleville Senators have announced that they have acquired forward Jake Lucchini from the Laval Rocket for future considerations. Lucchini, 26, spent the past season and a half with Laval, but without much to show for it. The former Michigan Tech standout and Pittsburgh Penguins prospect has yet to make his mark on the pros, but will get another shot with Belleville this season.
- A KHL trade today also contained some recognizable names. SKA St. Petersburg has acquired former NHL forward Valentin Zykov from Sibir Novosibirsk. The return is another former NHL forward, Vladislav Kamenev, and San Jose Sharks prospect Yegor Spirodonov. Zykov had been playing in Sweden to begin this year, but now that his KHL rights have transferred he has agreed to a one-year deal with SKA. Zykov skated in 15 games with the Vegas Golden Knights just last year, recording four points. Kamenev spent all of last season in St. Petersburg after notching eight points in 38 games with the Colorado Avalanche in 2019-20. Spirodonov, a 2019 selection, has yet to be given much of a chance in the KHL and could be bound for North America next season if he doesn’t earn a greater role with Novosibirsk.
- Ben Hutton’s late-preseason PTO with the Anaheim Ducks didn’t result in an NHL contract – at least not yet – but the veteran defenseman is remaining with the organization. Hutton has signed an AHL contract with the San Diego Gulls, the team announced. Hutton began last season with the Ducks and that familiarity with the organization combined with the team’s potential seller status could lead to a promotion to an NHL deal at some point this year.
- After initial rosters were finalized yesterday with a vast number of AHL assignments, at least one team is already switching things up. The Dallas Stars have recalled forwards Joel Kiviranta and Jacob Peterson from AHL Texas and sent fellow forwards Oskar Back and Ty Dellandrea and goaltender Jake Oettinger back in a corresponding move. If Peterson plays in Dallas’ opener on Thursday, it will mark his NHL debut.