Back in February, I took a close look at all the prospects from the OHL who needed to be signed by NHL clubs by June 1st, in order for their rights to be retained.
Well we're about a week and a half away from that deadline, so let's revisit that post and see who's been signed and who still needs to be.
For reference sake, here's the original post from February.
Of the players appearing on that list...the following have signed contracts:
Ethan Werek (With Pheonix after a trade from New York)
Of the players appearing on that list...the following still need to be signed:
David Pacan (uncertain he has to be signed)
As you can see there is a lot of solid talent without a contract.
Here is what I'm thinking.
I'd be really surprised if Casey Cizikas and Garrett Wilson aren't signed following the completion of the Memorial Cup. My hunch tells me it's a case of two players not wanting to be distracted with contract negotiations during the playoffs. Both are solid NHL prospects who had excellent years and their NHL teams (Islanders and Panthers) would be foolish not to get their signature on the dotted line.
Given how Marcus Foligno developed this season, and his father's long standing connections to Buffalo, I'd also be shocked if he isn't signed. I'm pretty surprised it hasn't happened yet actually.
Then things get murky.
Kenny Ryan developed pretty well this year as a grinder type/two way forward. Considering he was such a high draft choice and the Leafs don't have the league's most talented farm system, it would seem odd if they don't sign him IMO. I don't think he has a high NHL ceiling, but everyone needs players like Ryan in their line up (think of the things a guy like Darroll Powe does for Philly).
Scott Valentine has NHL potential and I think he's developed very well since he was drafted. I know I'd sign him if I was an NHL organization.
The rest kind of seem long shots at best right now. Szwarz is a good player who does a lot of things well, but I'm just not sure he's a guy you look at and say "future NHL player." Brandon Maxwell just never really developed much consistency in his OHL career, and the Avs already have two solid goaltending prospects (Calvin Pickard and Trevor Caan) slated for the AHL next season. Andy Bathgate was given an ATO with Pittsburgh's AHL team to close out the season, but didn't really do anything with it. I'm guessing that was his final test.
I'll be sure to recap and discuss this further when June 1st arrives, for now, just keep checking a site like CapGeek for your latest contract news.