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The most interesting names on the NHL’s historic waiver day

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Over 150 players around the NHL are currently on the waiver wire and able to be picked up tomorrow

Winnipeg Jets v Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins have made their training camp cuts and have a full 23-player roster (once Kasperi Kapanen completes his covid- quarantine for coming to America, anyways) and the Pens have announced their six player taxi squad group as well. Their team is all set and they couldn’t make a waiver claim even if they wanted to.

Which might be a shame, Monday NHL teams made a strange bit of history as teams around the league look to get under the salary cap and get their rosters all in shape. There are 149 players in total that could be claimed now, with the news coming shortly after 12 noon by the league to announce which players get claimed by what teams.

(Click on the tweets to see the full, extended, complete listing)

Here are some of the most interesting names out there:

Highly drafted somewhat still younger players

Samuel Morin (PHI) — At 25, the 11th overall pick in 2013 by the Flyers has seen a once-promising career get derailed by a series of serious knee injuries. Morin only played four pro hockey games in 2019-20 (three in the AHL, one in the NHL) in his age-24 season. The year prior in 2018-19 it was only seven total games. The year before that it was only 17 games in 2017-18 for his age-22 season. It’s a shame that he’s never got on track, at 6’6 the rangy defenseman had potential...Will anyone give him a shot now?

Lucas Johansen (WSH) — The 23-year old was the Capitals’ first round pick in 2016, but has also seen injuries prevent his career from getting into gear, only appearing in nine games in the AHL last season. Lucas Johansen, younger player of Nashville center Ryan, has yet to appear in the NHL. If he wasn’t a first round pick, he might not be standing out, being as he hasn’t really come particularly close to demonstrating he has something to offer at the NHL level. Yet, he’s also still very young.

Eric Comrie (WPG) — had a lot of parallels to Tristan Jarry (WHL goalie, second round pick in 2013) but despite pretty decent AHL stats and a nice pedigree, Comrie only has eight career NHL games under his belt; including getting shelled for three games behind a very bad Detroit team in 2019-20. Just interesting to see how the pieces never came together for Comrie, while Jarry’s career has ascended to huge heights due to recent performances.

Derrick Pouliot (PHI) — just kidding.

Oliver Kylington (CGY) — at only 23, Kylington has played five seasons in the Flames’ organization following being drafted in the second round in 2015. He’s got 87 career NHL games and unlike many young players, doesn’t have an injury list history.

Zachary Senyshyn — Another case of being notable primarily due to where the 23-year old was drafted in 2015 (15th overall, where picks 16-18 were Mathew Barzal, Kyle Conner and Thomas Chabot. Ouch). Senyshyn has played pro for the last three seasons and hasn’t shown a lot of progress in the AHL and only has six career NHL games. He’s still young, but if he was like a fourth round pick, would anyone notice?

Veterans

Mathieu Perreault (WPG) — After a really nice career stretch of scoring ~40 points for five seasons from 2013-18, Perreault has slowed down a bit, including just 15 points in 49 games for the Jets last season. He also just celebrated his 33rd birthday, and is a slight 5’8’ish tall (though officially listed a bit bigger). Not sure how much he has to offer, and with one year remaining on his contract with a $4.125 million cap hit, there probably isn’t a taker with enough space for picking that up.

Tyler Johnson (TB) — it feels like just yesterday that Tyler Johnson was one of the best players on the Lightning, but the days of his great performances in 2015 are long past over (now it’s all about Brayden Point as a similar player in a similar role). Johnson still has four seasons remaining at a $5.0 million cap hit, there might not be a team out there looking to add that commitment to this player. Tough circumstances in the flat cap world, but Johnson is also a player that did score 29 goals in a season as recently as 2018-19, so it is not as if he wouldn’t have the ability to help an NHL team if he gets a bigger role than how TB uses him now.

Thomas Hickey (NYI) — the Islanders have been reportedly trying to trade Hickey and get out from the last two seasons at a $2.5 million cap hit. Hickey had a great run from 2012-18 as a steady NHL defenseman, but hasn’t been in the NHL since the 2018-19 season, due to concussion and injury issues. Hickey only played 14 games in the AHL in 2019-20, it doesn’t look like there’s anything more left to get out of him at the NHL level any further.

In the end, the Pens won’t do much. In a perfect world, they would grab Tyler Johnson. But, unfortunately there is such thing as the salary cap, and the four years left on his contract are daunting, especially when Pittsburgh is on the hook for about $3.1 million of dead cap hits in Nick Bjugstad and Jack Johnson this season, as well as other inefficient contract usages throughout the roster. So that won’t be happening.

Across the board, a player like Kylington certainly should get a look somewhere given his relative young age and some of the resume he’s put out there. A change of scene for him might do well to get into a new organization.