In today’s News & Notes, Jonathan Drouin has had surgery on his nose, the Edmonton Oilers have signed Ryan McLeod, the Detroit Red Wings have signed Joe Veleno & the Boston Bruins have extended Anton Blidh.
Drouin Has Nose Surgery
The Montreal Canadiens announced Wednesday that Drouin underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a previously fractured nose. The surgery was performed by Dr. Mirko Gilardano in Montreal and is being classified as a minor procedure.
Drouin is expected to resume his summer training in two to three weeks which is good news for the Canadiens.
In his second season in Montreal, Drouin scored 18 goals and tied his career-high in points with 53 in 81 games. The 24-year-old should be good to go heading into the offseason as he looks to help the Canadiens return to playoff contention after making a strong and surprising push in 2018-19 despite the low expectations placed upon the team.
Oilers Sign Ryan McLeod
The Oilers announced Wednesday that they had signed McLeod to a three-year entry-level contract. McLeod was taken 40th overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and is coming off of another solid season in the OHL.
The 19-year-old would finish the 2018-19 season with 19 goals and 62 points in 63 games split between the Mississauga Steelheads and Saginaw Spirit before putting up five goals and 12 points in 17 postseason games with Saginaw.
For the Oilers, this is just another star-caliber prospect who’s set to join their system and could make a difference for the team in the coming years. He’ll get a chance to show the Oilers what he can do right away as well as he has signed an amateur tryout contract with the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL that kicks in immediately.
Red Wings Sign Joe Veleno
The Red Wings have signed Veleno to a three-year entry-level contract, the team announced Wednesday.
While Veleno may have been the 30th pick in the first-round for the Oilers a year ago, many had him touted as a possible top-15 pick who slid for no discernible reason.
This was great news for the Red Wings as Veleno’s previous career-highs from his draft season were 22 goals and 79 points in 64 games. This past season, Veleno would explode for 42 goals and 104 points in 59 games. To put that in reference, Veleno had scored 48 goals in his previous three QMJHL seasons (171 games) before scoring 42 this season. He’d also score eight goals and 17 points in 16 postseason games.
He’s undoubtedly a key piece of the Red Wings’ future and should be considered a top prospect for his well-rounded game and high-upside.
Bruins Extend Anton Blidh
The Bruins have extended Blidh to a two-year, two-way contract that carried a $700,000 cap hit at the NHL level, the team announced Wednesday.
Blidh has been a very solid contributor for the Bruins since joining Providence back in 2015-16. He’s even found himself in at least one game in each of the last three seasons, including one games in 2018-19, one in 2017-18 and 19 in 2016-17.
What Blidh lacks in offensive potential, he more than makes up for in energy and accountability. As a fourth-line player, he has potential to fill in for the Bruins on their main roster in case of any serious injury spell. In the AHL, the 24-year-old has proven that he can play hard and never take a shift off.
The Bruins have a few players who play a similar role to Blidh on their NHL roster but given their history of injuries over the last few seasons, Blidh provides very solid insurance in case anything should happen.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for seven years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.