Signed centre Sam Gagner to a three-year, one-way contract worth an average annual value of $3,150,000.
“Sam is a hardworking, right shot centre with good speed and skill,” said Benning. “He brings tremendous experience to our team and will set a good example for our younger players.” Gagner, 27, collected a career-high 50 points (18-32-50) in 81 games played with Columbus in 2016.17. His 18 goals tied a career-high set in 2011.12 while his point total marked the seventh 40-plus point campaign of his career. In 10 NHL seasons split between Columbus, Philadelphia, Arizona, and Edmonton, the 5-11, 202-pound forward has posted 142 goals and 260 assists in 696 career NHL games.
On the international stage, Gagner has represented Canada at three international tournaments: the 2008 IIHF World Championships, the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championships (gold medal) and the Canada Ontario U17 squad at the U17 World Hockey Challenge. A native of London, Ontario, Gagner was originally selected by Edmonton in the first round, sixth overall, at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Signed defenceman Patrick Wiercioch to a one-year, one-way contract worth $650,000.
“Patrick has excellent mobility for a player his size and possesses a big shot from the point,” said Benning. “He’ll add to our depth on the blue line and we’re excited to give him the opportunity to play for his hometown team.”
Wiercioch, 26, appeared in 57 games for Colorado in 2016.17, registering 12 points (4-8-12) and 23 penalty minutes. His four goals ranked third among Avalanche defencemen while his 12 points ranked fifth. Prior to joining Colorado in 2016, the 6-5, 202-pound defenceman spent five seasons with the Ottawa Senators. In 268 career NHL games over parts of six seasons, Wiercioch has registered 74 points (4-8-12). He also has four points (2-2-4) in seven career playoff contests.
Prior to his professional career, Wiercioch played two seasons at the University of Denver (2008-10) where he was named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team and WCHA Second All-Star Team as a freshman in 2008-09, and selected to the WCHA First All-Star Team and NCAA West First All-American Team as a sophomore in 2009-10.
The Burnaby, British Columbia, native was selected in the second round, 42nd overall, at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Signed defenceman Michael Del Zotto to a two-year, one-way contract worth an average annual value of $3,000,000.
“Michael is a mobile, playmaking defenceman who adds depth and scoring to our blue line,” said Benning. “His ability to log big minutes and contribute in all situations will help our team be competitive every night.”
Del Zotto, 27, ranked tied for second in goals (6) and tied for fifth in points (6-12-18) among Flyers defencemen during the 2016.17 season. His 6.7% shooting percentage and 173 hits also ranked first and second respectively among Philadelphia blue liners last season. In 484 career NHL games over parts of nine seasons split between Philadelphia, Nashville and the New York Rangers, Del Zotto has collected 189 points (47-142-189) along with 202 penalty minutes. The 6-0,195-pound defenceman has also notched 12 points (3-9-12) in 32 playoff appearances.
A native of Stouffville, Ontario, Del Zotto was originally selected by the Rangers in the first round, 20th
overall, at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Re-signed forward Anton Rodin to a one-year contract worth $700,000.
“Anton is a good offensive player who I know feels has a lot to prove,” said Benning. “He had a tough season last year with injuries but we’re excited that he’ll return to the team healthy and ready to contribute.”
Rodin, 26, appeared in three games for Vancouver last season, recording one assist, and three games for Utica also collecting one assist. Rodin missed most of the 2016.17 season due to injury. Rodin played for Brynas IF Gavle of the Swedish Hockey League from 2013-16 and this season won The Gold Helmet as the league’s Most Valuable Player with 16 goals and 37 points in 33 games. The 5-11,185-pound forward had 47 goals and 112 points in 134 SHL games.
A native of Stockholm, Sweden, Rodin played two seasons (2011-13) with Chicago of the AmericanHockey League; he had 14 goals and 41 points in 111 AHL games.
The Canucks selected Rodin in the second round, 53rd overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Signed forward Alexander Burmistrov to a one-year, one-way contract worth $900,000.
“Alexander put up good numbers towards the end of last season with Arizona and has shown good offensive potential throughout his young career,” said Benning. “We’re excited to give him an opportunity to help our team compete next year.”
Burmistrov, 25, split last season between the Arizona Coyotes (5-9-14 in 26 games) and Winnipeg Jets (0-2-2 in 23 games). Claimed by Arizona off waivers on January 2nd, the 6-1, 180-pound forward finished the regular season with five points (4-1-5) over his last five games including a two goal effort on March 31st
.Prior to returning to the Jets in 2015, Burmistrov spent two seasons with Ak-Bars Kazan in the KHL where he tallied 20 goals and 64 points in 108 games. His first three professional seasons were spent with the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise, where he tallied 23 goals and 35 assists in 194 NHL games from 2010 to 2013.
A native of Kazan, Russia, Burmistrov was originally selected by Atlanta in the first round, eighth overall, at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Signed goaltender Anders Nilsson to a two-year, one-way contract worth an annual average value of $2,500,000.
“Anders has a big, athletic frame and we expect that he will compete at high level when called upon, said Benning. “Alongside Jacob, we feel his addition will continue to make us competitive every night at the goaltending position.”
Nilsson, 27, played 26 games during the 2016.17 season with Buffalo posting a 10-10-4 record along with a .923 save percentage and a 2.67 GAA. In 78 career NHL games split between Buffalo, St. Louis,Edmonton and the New York Islanders, he has posted a record of 29-32-8 along with a .908 save percentage and a 2.94 GAA.
Internationally the Lulea, Sweden native has represented his country twice in international
competitions, winning a bronze at both the 2014 World Championship and the 2010 World Junior Championship. The 6-5, 229-pound goaltender also played the 2014.15 season with AK Bars Kazan of the KHL.
Nilsson was originally selected by the New York Islanders in the third round, 62nd overall, at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.