While big-name players like Phil Kessel and T.J. Oshie find themselves on the move just two days into the NHL free agency period, four former Massachusetts hockey players have landed deals in the last 48 hours.
Former UMass captain and 2014 graduate Conor Sheary inked a two-year entry-level deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday while former teammates Joel Hanley and Conor Allen and 2008 graduate Mike Kostka signed one-year, two-way contracts with the Canadiens, Predators and Senators respectively.
Playing for the Penguins’ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton AHL affiliate, Sheary led the team in 2014-15 with 45 points in 58 games. This came after the Melrose, Massachusetts native accumulated 104 points over four years with the Minutemen — placing him eighth most in program history.
Hanley also agreed to his first NHL contract after spending the past season with the Phoenix Coyotes’ AHL affiliate Portland Pirates. The defenseman finished with two goals and 20 assists over 78 games with the Pirates.
Allen, who signed with Nashville on Thursday, has spent the past two seasons as part of the New York Rangers’ organization. In 145 games for the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack, the defenseman scored 11 goals. He’s played seven games in a two-year span with the Rangers and has yet to record his first NHL point.
Allen spent three years at UMass before joining the Rangers organization following the 2012-13 season.
Unlike the other three former Minutemen, Kostka has made his rounds in the NHL, appearing in 70 games over three seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks and the Rangers. In 2014-15, Kostka played in seven games for New York and recorded one assist.
In the case of Hanley, Allen and Kostka, their two-way deals allow for different salaries depending on how much time they spend in the NHL and the respective organization’s minor league system.
Anthony Chiusano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @a_chiusano24.