Usual disclaimers apply: This isn’t a true depth chart, but this year even more than past years, I think I kept guys more or less where they finished up. As things come into sharper focus, I may rearrange. There could be swing on the margins and within positions. (For instance, it’s a very good bet at least one defenseman and a forward or two will be given an NHL shot. Niederreiter may well get his AHL apprenticeship at last. Goaltending is always up in the air. And there’s this collective bargaining agreement up on Sept. 15…)
*-Unsigned restricted free agent. Italics: AHL contract. Blue: added since July 1.
As of Sept. 15 (Martin), 43 NHL contracts this year (4 G, 13 D, 26 F), including Strome and Reinhart (who can’t play in the AHL and who wouldn’t count to the 50-contract limit if sent back to junior before playing 10 NHL games), not counting restricted free agents.
LW — Josh Bailey, Eric Boulton, Michael Grabner, Matt Moulson, Matt Martin
C — Brad Boyes, Frans Nielsen, Marty Reasoner, John Tavares
RW — Jesse Joensuu, Nino Niederreiter, Kyle Okposo
D — Matt Carkner, Travis Hamonic, Andrew MacDonald, Mark Streit, Lubomir Visnovsky
G — Rick DiPietro, Evgeni Nabokov
LW — Jason Clark, Brandon DeFazio, Brett Gallant, Mike Halmo, Kirill Kabanov, John Persson, David Ullstrom
C — Casey Cizikas, Brock Nelson, Johan Sundstrom
RW — Sean Backman, Max MacKay, Colin McDonald (V), Blair Riley, Matt Watkins
D — Marc Cantin, Calvin de Haan, Matt Donovan, Jon Landry, Nathan McIver (V), Aaron Ness, Ty Wishart (V-320)
G — Anders Nilsson, Kevin Poulin, Kenny Reiter
Wild cards —
Mikko Koskinen* (should he come back), Ryan Strome and Griffin Reinhart (NHL only), and a handful of draft picks like Brenden Kichton or (if something changes dramatically) Kirill Petrov. And might as well put Tomas Marcinko* with the wild cards now, since he has a tryout contract with Modo as of Aug. 31 but theoretically could come back to North America before the season starts without waivers, and could come back with waivers through Dec. 1 (NHL, at least under the expiring CBA) or Dec. 15 (AHL).
(V)-AHL veteran (more than 260 games played NHL/AHL/IHL/Euro elite); only five permitted to dress per game. (V-320)-AHL veteran with not more than 320 games played; one permitted as an exemption if five other veterans are dressed