Familiar faces, new places – East Division
This NHL off-season was like no other. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teams went into an off-season with lots of unknowns, which directly impacted off-season movement. This season, 23 WHL alumni started this season in different teams, while 35 alumni moved last season. In the last two weeks we have made new WHL alumni acquisitions in every department. This week we’re ending the Familiar Faces, New Places series with a look at the East Division.
Ryan Murray – New Jersey Devils
Former Everett Silvertips captain has had a hard time staying out of the injured reserve during his seven-year NHL career. Murray’s best season was 2018-19, where he played 56 games and had a high-scoring career (29). Murray was traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the New Jersey Devils in October for a fifth-round draft pick.
Cody Eakin – Buffalo Sabers
WHL Champion Cody Eakin joined the Buffalo Sabers after spending time with the Winnipeg Jets and Vegas Golden Knights last season. The 10-year-old NHL veteran joins his fifth NHL team after signing a two-year deal with the Sabers. The Sabers will be looking for Eakin to bring the same leadership skills he brought to Swift Current and Kootenay in 2011 and to help build their young team.
Brandon Davidson – Buffalo Sabers
The 2009 Regina Pats rookie of the year and former captain began his NHL career with the Edmonton Oilers after being drafted in the sixth round of the NHL draft. After three seasons with the team, Davidson was traded in exchange for David Desharnais to Montreal, but later repealed by the Canadiens and reclaimed by the Oilers. In 2018, Davidson was traded to the New York Islanders for a third round of voting in 2019. After Davidson appeared in 15 games for the Islanders, Davidson was not made a qualifying offer. He attended the Chicago Blackhawks training camp and later signed a one-year contract, but shortly after he returned to UFA and joined the Calgary Flames; until he was later taken to the San Jose Sharks and decided not to resign to join the Buffalo Sabers.
Colton Sceviour – Pittsburgh Penguins
After five seasons with the Florida Panthers, Colton Sceviour was traded to Pittsburgh as part of the Patric Hornqvist deal. Former Lethbridge Hurricane and Portland Winterhawk are set to play his 500th NHL game as he’s currently 35 games away from the milestone. Sceviour still has one year left for his three-year contract, which he signed in 2018.
Zdeno Chara – capitals of Washington
One of the biggest signings this past off-season would be former Bruins legend and future Hall of Famer, Zdeno Chara, who is heading to Washington to join WHL alum Brendan Dillon. The 41-year-old veterinarian signs a one-year contract and brings an overwhelming experience to capitals as a seven-time NHL All-Star, Norris Trophy winner, Mark Messier Leadership Award winner and Stanley Cup Champion. Chara played with the Prince George Cougars in 1997 and scored 22 points and 120 penalty minutes in 49 games with the club.