There’s eighty-three days until the Rochester Americans kick off another season in hopes of a Calder Cup championship. The team’s roster is starting to take shape, with some signings of returning players and newcomers as well as some of last season’s players signing elsewhere. Here’s a run-down of some of the roster changes for the Rochester Americans so far this offseason.
Looking at the AHL’s official roster for the Rochester Americans last season, there’s a handful of players who will not be back in Rochester.
Right winger Jonathan Parker is gone after his rights were traded to the Los Angeles Kings this past season along with defenseman Brayden McNabb. Kevin Porter recently signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings. Rostislav Klesla and Linus Omark, bye bye bye.
Defenseman Alexander Sulzer spent part of last season in Rochester, but he won’t be back, as he signed to play overseas next season. Also gone from the Rochester Americans blueline are Matt Mackenzie and Nick Crawford.
The Sabres chose not to make offers to either player, so they become unrestricted free agents.
Both have yet to sign elsewhere.
Goaltender Connor Knapp was not tendered an offer by the Sabres, so he’s also become an unrestricted free agent.
In addition to those players, there’s a few question marks on the Rochester Americans roster.
The first is Patrick Kaleta. He still has one year left on his contract with the Sabres, but it’s unclear right now where he’ll be playing next season.
The next question is in regards to Frederick Roy. He wasn’t signed by the Sabres, but was given an AHL deal with the Rochester Americans. He may or may not get a deal to come back to the Amerks next season — there may simply not be a spot for him in the lineup anymore.
There’s also Mike Zigomanis, who signed a one-year deal with the Rochester Americans last summer. Will he be back?
(Personally, while I’d love to see him return, I think it’s unlikely.)
With all those guys in murky waters, there’s a few new faces that will be in Rochester next season.
Both were signed by the Sabres recently and are expected to be depth on the Amerks’ roster, along with forward Jordan Samuels-Thomas.
In addition to those newly-signed players, a few Sabres prospects could end up with Rochester Americans this coming season after seeing their junior careers come to a close.
That goes for defenseman Brady Austin and forward Justin Kea. Both will fight for spots in the AHL this season; if they don’t make it, they’ll likely start off in the ECHL.
There’s also guys like Nicholas Deslauriers and Brian Flynn, who could be up and down between the AHL and NHL.
What else will happen in the next 83 days before the Rochester Americans’ home opener? Who knows, really? Anything is possible, but as we get closer to the start of the AHL season, more and more of the roster will start to take shape, so keep an eye out and get ready for more AHL action soon.