Undrafted 10th year center Warren Peters(43) is the type of veteran skater you want on your team come playoff time for his on ice determination and game leadership he brings.
An unrestricted free agent after two seasons in the Minnesota Wild system, he signed a one-year two-way contract with Pittsburgh Penguins that’s seen him contribute with all the aforementioned qualities during the regular season, but in the postseason with AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins it’s on a whole other level. It’s also good reason for him to wear an assistant captain “A” on his sweater.
The 6’1″ 209 lbs. forward has made it to Calder Cup Finals in two of the last three seasons, first with Texas Stars and followed it up with Houston Aeros.
He’s appeared in 96 NHL with 3 different teams in each of the last four seasons (4 goals, 4 assists) and only likely didn’t receive a recall this season due to the shortened campaign.
As a player that started his career in the ECHL and even spent his entire sophomore season in the league during the other most recent lockout, we can appreciate the fact that he’s worked his way up to the show with lots of hard play and persistence.
The 30-year old is back on the market this summer but chances are the Penguins will offer him a one-year extension.
2012/2013 Providence Bruins salute the fans after their disappointing 5-0 loss in game 7 of the AHL Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, a series they led 3-0.
They became the third team in league history to suffer the defeat and first since Adirondack Red Wings pulled off the comeback in 1989.
Ironically the same fate was met by 2010 Boston Bruins and Reading Royals of the ECHL in the same year, all affiliates at the time of their historic downfalls.
Still, a season the team should be proud of with all eyes on erasing the memory in 2013/2014.
3rd year, undrafted defenseman Peter Merth(4) has seemed to enjoy his playing time in the pros with Wheeling Nailers. He signed three successive one-year deals to stay with the club.
He’s also received AHL call-ups for the past couple of seasons and training camp invites from Adirondack Phantoms and Abbotsford Heat.
The sturdy 6’3″ 225 lbs. d-man had season bests in 2012/2013 for assists (16) and points (17) but surprisingly only received one pto deal with Hamilton Bulldogs for 7 games. He fared better the previous year appearing in 11 contests with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, connecting for a pair of helpers and was with them through a winning streak.
With 167 ECHL games to his credit, he has scored 5 goals and 36 assists with a mammoth +24 rating and not a lot of unnecessary time in the sin bin.
The 26-year old was recently brought back up to rejoin WBS Penguins’ Calder Cup run as their defense corps became depleted with injuries.
He was inserted into the lineup at exactly the right time, as the team was down 3-0 in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals but made a comeback charge to tie the series at 3 apiece going into a decisive game 7.
He has one assist and a +2 plus/minus in the three contests he’s suited up for.
Seems likely that he’ll make a more permanent jump to the higher league in 2013/2014.
3rd year right wing Alex Berry(29) is stepping up the effort for Reading Royals in the 2013 Kelly Cup Playoffs, his second postseason run with the team. He was part of the disastrous meltdown that bounced them out of the Eastern Conference Finals after going up 3-0 in the series.
In 18 games, he has struck for 7 goals and 4 assists, including the game-winner that has the Royals up 2-0 in the Finals. But even more than marking up the score sheet nicely he’s looked to for leadership in the locker room and on the ice and plays exactly that kind of style.
Signed to a one-year contract with Hershey Bears, he was recalled and reassigned 7 times during 2012/2013.
In 19 AHL games he had a pair of goals and 2 assists; and 6 tallies and 10 helpers in 29 ECHL games.
He also spent 21 games on the injured reserved late in the campaign but that was nothing compared to breaking his arm so badly in Portland Pirates‘ training camp in 2011 that it required two seperate surgeries in order for him to make a comeback.
Originally a Toronto Maple Leafs‘ 5th round pick in the 2005 draft (#153 overall), he signed a two-year entry level deal that saw him play in 55 games with minor league affiliate Toronto Marlies before being traded before his sophomore season to Tampa Bay Lightning.
The big 6’3″ 209 lbs. forward did fairly well for their affiliate Norfolk Admirals but was not retained for another campaign by the parent club and became an unrestricted free agent heading into 2011/2012.
He’s has 157 AHL games to his credit and looks to be making a good argument for a one-year extension.
Anaheim Ducks‘ 2nd round pick in the 2o11 draft (#39 overall) goaltender John Gibson(43) got the ultimate call-up in his young career when he was chosen to be the starting net minder for Team USA at the IIHF World Championships. He helped backstop the team to a bronze medal, their first ranking in almost ten years at the competition.
He’s participated in two NHL training camps including the shortened 2013 camp, but the still only 19-year old was sent back to rejoin his junior hockey club Kitchener Rangers. He signed a three-year entry level deal at the end of the 2012 season but the parent club elected to wait and use a first year slide based on his age.
The sizable 6’3″ 209 lbs. backstop is highly touted in a Ducks‘ system that is already very deep at the goalie position but does look to be capable to stealing a job in his first year with the team.
If that doesn’t happen, he could shoulder a lot of the playing time with their AHL affiliate Norfolk Admirals, a team he joined briefly, appearing in one game before their season was over.
Undrafted 2nd year defenseman Vincent LoVerde(5) had an unassumingly terrific sophomore season playing most of the campaign on a pair of pto’s with Manchester Monarchs.
He started 2012/2013 with Ontario Reign, the team he’d spent his entire rookie season playing for in the ECHL.
After an invite to Chicago Wolves‘ training camp he returned to the Reign roster, where he re-signed in the summer and was quick to produce, resulting in his first recall.
Through 51 AHL games he scored a pair of goals and added 11 assists, while posting a monster +17 on a team that fought tooth and nail for a Calder Cup playoff berth.
Look for him to score another invite to a triple A camp, if not sign a deal in the offseason to join a team for the entirety of 2013/2014.
Undrafted defenseman Karl Stollery(6) gets rewarded with a Colorado Avalanche one-year two-way NHL entry level deal after putting up solid numbers in his rookie season with minor league affiliate Lake Erie Monsters.
In 72 AHL games he had 5 goals and 29 assists, first on the team in points and helpers, while maintaining a +11 rating with an active 119 shots of net.
He originally signed an ato with the team upon finishing up four years of college hockey at Merrimack and got right to the business of marking up the score sheet with a pair of goals and 5 assists in 9 games to finish out the regular season. He led his Hockey East team in all sorts of categories, while holding down the captain’s spot for the team in his final two years.
At 5’11″ 180 lbs., the 25-year old could still use some added weight and muscle to his game but is already pretty impressive out there at his current size.