Unsigned NHL Draft Picks from 2015

With two weeks until the NHL teams need to sign their 2015 NHL Entry Draft picks, I thought it would be a good time to see who remains to be signed and by what teams. These players will be eligible to re-enter the draft if they are not signed by June 1, 2017. I will include a little bit of back ground on the players as well.

Brad Morrison: Selected in the 4th round, 113th overall by the New York Rangers. Morrison plays for the Prince George Cougars and had a decent draft season where he posted 23 goals and 27 assists in 67 games on a Cougars team that just barely made the playoffs. In the 2 seasons since he has posted 62 points in 72 games (15-16) and 52 points in 61 games. He did suffer an injury this year and was relegated to 3rd and 4th line time towards the latter part of the season. The Rangers do have room to add contracts as they have 4 spots available for the remainder of this year and more than $1 million in cap space.

Glenn Gawdin: Selected in the 4th round 116th overall by the St. Louis Blues. Gawdin has signed an AHL Amateur Tryout with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. He played for the Swift Current Broncos for the 2016-17 season. In his draft season, Gawdin supplied the team with some good offensive numbers, 15 goals and 39 assists in 72 games. He has seen his points per game increase steadily over the last 3 seasons: .75 , 1.00, 1.13. In the 2016-17 season he sustained an injury that kept him out of 20 games. St. Louis has 2 contract spaces available and just over $1 million in salary cap space.

Sam Ruopp: Selected in the 5th round, 129th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Ruopp has signed an AHL Amateur Tryout with the Cleveland Monsters of the AHL. He spent the season with the Prince George Cougars, his 5th in the WHL. He was drafted by the Cougars in the 2011 Bantam Draft. Ruopp was drafted by the Blue Jackets in his second year of eligibility making him the oldest player on this list. During that season he was named the Cougars captain and had 3 goals and 23 assists. This season he had 4 goals and 20 assists as an overage player. Columbus has 4 available roster spots and about $1.5 million in salary cap space.

Sam Ruopp (Brett Cullen)

Ryan Pilon: Selected in the 5th round, 147th overall by the New York Islanders. At the time, Pilon was a member of the Brandon Wheat Kings. On September 4th, 2015 the Wheat Kings issued a statement regarding his decision to walk away from the game. He cited that he lost his passion for hockey. He has since played in the Fort Carlton Hockey League (senior A) in Saskatchewan, seemingly giving up on being an NHLer.

Giorgio Estephan: Selected in the 6th round, 152nd overall by the Buffalo Sabres. Estephan plays for the Lethbridge Hurricanes, and the team advanced to the 3rd round of the WHL Playoffs this season. In his draft year, Giorgio registered 23 goals and 28 assists in 64 games. In 2016-17 he registered 25 goals to go along with 54 assists. Estephan also added 11 goals and 13 assists in 18 playoff games. Buffalo has five available contract spaces and about $1.3 million in salary cap space. Of the group, Estephan seems the most likely to get a last minute contract.

Matteo Gennaro: Selected in the 7th round, 203rd overall by the Winnipeg Jets. Gennaro plays for the Calgary Hitmen. Calgary was able to make it to the first round of this season’s playoffs. He contributed 16 goals and 15 assists in his draft year while playing with the Prince Albert Raiders. This season, while with the Hitmen, Matteo added 43 goals to his 37 assists in 69 games. Winnipeg has 8 available contract spaces and $6.3 million in available salary cap room.

Evan Smith: Selected in the 7th round, 205th overall by the Nashville Predators. In his draft eligible season, Smith played in 4 games for the Victoria Royals with a record of 1-1-0-0. After his second season in the WHL, where he played with the Saskatoon Blades, Smith moved on from hockey to pursue other interests

Tate Olson: Selected in the 7th round, 210th overall by the Vancouver Canucks. Tate has been a Prince George Cougar for his entire WHL career. As a 16-year-old he played in 52 games, when he was eligible for the draft he played in 68 games and had 5 goals and 19 assists. His best season for statistics was in 15-16 when he had 47 points in 65 games. While playing on the BC Division leading team this season he saw a drastic downturn in his point production, earning just 26 points in 67 games. Vancouver has 3 available contract spaces and about $1.1 million in available salary cap space.

Tate Olson (Brett Cullen)

Matt Bradley: Selected in the 5th round, 131st overall by the Montreal Canadiens. Bradley played this year with Medicine Hat Tigers, his 3rd WHL season. Bradley was a Tigers Bantam draft pick in 2012 and joined the team in 2014. He played 71 games in his draft eligible season, scoring 17 times and adding 23 assists. This year he helped lead the Tigers to the 2nd round of the playoffs while adding 34 goals and 43 assists in the regular season. Montreal currently has two available contract spaces and only $470K in salary cap space.

The information regarding the NHL teams contracts, as well as, salary cap space were taken from CapFriendly.com for the purposes of this article.

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Paul Figler

Living the dream with an amazing team. DUBNetwork is just one of my passion projects, WHLStats is another. Follow me personally @RDFigs19 on twitter or our account @dub_network.