Prime candidates for a PTO when NHL training camps open

The rumblings around hockey circles is that a start date between January 6th and the 15th are possible. That would put the opening up training camps right after Christmas.

So now it’s time to take a look at some still available free agents that would make great candidates for a PTO (professional tryout).

Derick Brassard, C (33 years-old)

NHL PTO candidates
Derick Brassard Islanders (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Big game Brass will become Big Bargain Brass for the team willing to give him a 1 year deal at $1 million. He scored 32 points in 66 games last season but really showed something for the surprising Islanders in return to play.

In 18 games this summer, Brassard notched two goals and eights points. He helped the Islanders get to the Eastern Conference Final. The latest rumors have the Isles still interested, but they still have to handle the Mat Barzal situation.

Ilya Kovalchuk, LW (37 years-old)

Ilya Kovalchuk played last season for $700,000 and may do so again for a contender. Yes, his best days are behind him but Kovalchuk could be a lynchpin for a contender’s third line and second PP unit.

In 46 games last season, he notched 10 goals and 26 points. He returned from the KHL with the LA Kings in the 2018-19 season and scored 16 goals with 34 points in 64 games. He’s certainly someone worth bringing in for a look.

Corey Perry, RW (35 years-old)

NHL PTO candidates
Corey Perry wins it in double OT (Dallas News / Codie McLachlan)

Perry showed he still had something left in the tank and helped the Dallas Stars get to the Stanley Cup Final. He did so on a one year deal for just $1.5 million and he likely will sign for something similar again.

The big power-forward scored 21 points in 57 games last season. He also added 9 points in 27 RTP games this summer. He would be a nice third line add for many teams but would need to prove himself at camp in this economy.

Craig Anderson, G (39 years-old)

Anderson has been the backbone for a very bad Ottawa Senators franchise for a long time. On most nights, the Senators would’ve been blow out of the water if not for this 17 year veteran.

If teams are looking for a solid net minder who can still stop the rubber, Anderson is your man. Should teams remain unsure, a PTO invite could be all they need to make up their minds.

#7 Carl Soderberg, C (35 years-old)

NHL PTO candidates
Soderberg still available (CP)

Last season Soderberg put up decent numbers for the Arizona Coyotes. The 6-3″ pivot notched 35 points in 70 games while averaging 15 minutes a game.

Teams looking for a third or fourth line center that can be tough in the defensive zone should look at Carl. Any team looking for center depth should invite him to camp on a PTO.

That’s unless he opts to play in Europe first.

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