It’s another busy day on the waiver wire. We’ve got a little
bit of everything today. Famous prospects, unknown late bloomers, gritty mid-career
guys trying to make it as fourth liners, and even a few proven NHL’ers trying
to sneak a few more games in on their way down the career curve.
Here are the guys who caught my eye on today’s waiver list:
RW Taylor Beck. Beck
has played 87 career NHL games. He’s reasonably big (6’2”, 203 pounds), young (age
25) and productive offensively (23 points in the majors). His NHL cap his is
also just $650,000, so for a team in need of a 13th forward he’s a pretty good
bet. This is, however, the time of year where teams generally have too many
people applying for the position of 13th forward.
LW Michael Bournival.
I really like this player, who not all that long ago looked to be developing
into being a sneaky-good two-way guy, as long as he could get his scoring up a
little bit. Injuries have hammered his career, though; he played only 20 AHL
games last year and scored just one goal. He’s 24; here’s hoping he can stay
healthy and find his way to a career.
RD Chris Casto. Casto,
an undrafted prospect in the Bruins’ organization, is reasonably big, tough and
mobile. He’s only 24 years old, and although primarily a defensive defenceman
he managed 23 points in 68 AHL games last season. His age and right shot might
make him attractive.
C Tyler Gaudet. The
undrafted Gaudet has found his way into 16 NHL games at the age of 23, and he’s
the kind of player who is easy to cheer for. Nathan Brown of the Arizona Republic put
together a nice writeup on his difficult road to the majors. Talent-wise,
the 6’3”, 210-pound pivot lacks scoring touch, but is an excellent
penalty-killer and defensive specialist. Working against him might be his NHL salary of $874,125,
which is a bit rich for an end-of-roster guy.
RD Nate Guenin. The
33-year-old Guenin is no stranger to the waiver wire. He’s bounced back and
forth between AHL and NHL basically since his pro career began in 2006-07. He’s
big, physical, not totally incompetent with the puck and shoots right. He’s
basically a solid No. 9 defenceman.
LW Mike Halmo. Halmo
played 20 games for the Islanders a couple of years back, scoring one goal and
recording 32 penalty minutes. The undersized 25-year-old winger had 22 goals,
41 points and 117 penalty minutes in the AHL last season. He’s rugged, but may
not have enough offensive touch to make it as a fourth-liner.
LW Tye McGinn. McGinn
is another big, rugged forward who just may not have enough scoring touch. He
has 17 points in 89 career NHL games, which is basically what one would expect
from a mid-40’s point producer in the AHL. He’s 26 years old.
LW Jeremy Morin. Morin
is a famous prospect, going back to his draft year in 2009. The label on him
then was that he was a fantastic shooter with good size, but that speed might
hold him back. He’s a very good AHL scorer, only 25 years old and has 22 points
in 82 career NHL games. I wonder if he gets another shot somewhere; once these
guys turn 25 its pretty easy to pigeon-hole them as ‘tweeners.
LD David Musil. Musil’s
player-type, the pure defensive defenceman, is rapidly disappearing from the
NHL, and he’s not a good skater by major-league standards. That’s a shame, because
he has a lot of other things going for him. He’s big, intelligent and physical
in front of the net, exhibiting a level of discipline not generally seen in
rugged blueliners. He’s only 23 and may deserve a second opinion.
RW Stefan Noesen. Noesen’s
a mildly famous prospect, being a first-round pick of the Senators in 2011 and
going to Anaheim in the Bobby Ryan trade. He’s 6’2” and just 23 but he his
scoring touch just hasn’t developed. A knee injury that took apart his 2013-14
season probably didn’t help.
LD Philip Samuelsson.
The 25-year-old Samuelsson had a breakthrough offensive season last year,
putting up 31 points in 56 AHL games. Ulf Samuelsson’s son is better known as a
smart defensive defenceman, and lacks the nasty edge his dad played with. His
skating’s only average. If he shot right, there’d be a pretty decent shot of
him getting claimed.
LD Jeff Schultz. Schultz,
a 6’6”, 225-pound defenceman, is probably most famous for posting a plus-50
rating with Washington in 2009-10. He’s been an AHL guy for most of the last
three seasons, and at age 30 that isn’t likely to change this year. He’s played
409 NHL games.
RW Corey Tropp. Tropp
played 148 games in the NHL between 2011 and 2015, but the rugged and
undersized winger fell to the AHL for all of last season. He fought his way
back from a serious knee injury in 2012-13 that cost him nearly the full year,
but it’s likely to be a lack of scoring and underwhelming possession numbers
that do him in as a major-league option.
If I had to bet on one player off that list to be able to
play competent NHL minutes today, I’d pick Taylor Beck. That may not make him
the most interesting player on the list, though – Casto, Gaudet, Musil and
Samuelsson are all more-or-less untested at the NHL level and each brings at
least one quality that should be attractive to a major-league team.
Working against all these players is the calendar. It’s
October 2, and every team in the league is going through its own difficult
process of paring down its roster. Most of those clubs will want to give their
in-house options first crack at a job, particularly since whichever in-house
option is currently in the end-of-roster slot is probably there because he’s
been good in training camp. At mid-season, a few of these players could be
interesting to a team with needs; right now, I’d expect them all to clear.
Check out Renaud Lavoie’s feed for the full list of players waived today.
RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS
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