Several weeks ago, the Atlanta Gladiators announced that they were going to opt out of the 2020-2021 ECHL season, sitting out instead of trying to play a season of minor league hockey during a pandemic.
The opt-out led to questions about where Bruins prospects who were slated to play in the ECHL would play this season, as the teams would retain their rights but have nowhere to put them.
In the case of at least two prospects, the Bruins have found them a home:
Bruins assign Kyle Keyser & Matt Filipe to Jacksonville Icemen. Team opens ECHL season on 12/12— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) December 5, 2020
It’s definitely good to see Kyle Keyser find a home for this season, as he’s a guy the Bruins need to continue to develop.
Matt Filipe, you may remember, is the Lynnfield, MA native who the Bruins signed this summer after he finished his college hockey career at Northeastern.
Jacksonville, then, will be Filipe’s first taste of professional hockey (if you exclude the USHL).
The Icemen were 24-29-7 last season before the ECHL campaign was scrapped due to COVID-19.
Interestingly, teammates of Filipe and Keyser will include former Bruins draft pick Wacey Rabbit and former Northeastern Husky Mike Szmatula.
No word yet on what the Bruins will do with Samuel Asselin, who spent the majority of last season with Atlanta and was a near point-per-game player in the process.
Ideally, he’ll play with Providence, but the future of the AHL season remains up in the air.