The Manitoba Moose announced that they have agreed to AHL contracts with two former St. John’s IceCaps’ forwards, with John Albert and Ben Walker.
This adds some organizational depth to the Winnipeg Jets farm team, that was lacking in depth and experience.
John Albert, a former sixth round draft pick of the Atlanta Thrashers, is no stranger to AHL deals with the Jets organization. Albert left Ohio State University in his senior year after scoring scoring 34 points in 37 games. The Jets did not sign him to an Entry Level Contract initially, and Albert played under an AHL contract for the St. John’s for his AHL rookie season. The gritty centre did eventually earn himself two separate one-year NHL contracts, which included a 9 game call-up stint with the Jets.
The Jets did extend a NHL qualifying offer to the then Restricted Free Agent, so it is possible that Albert took the AHL contract because it gave him a higher salary. For the Jets, AHL contracts do not count towards the Salary Cap.
Albert adds some stability to the Moose’s centre position as an experienced top-six AHL centre. The Moose’s three other remaining centre positions will likely consist of any three of Patrice Cormier, Nic Petan, Andrew Copp, and Ryan Olsen.
Ben Walker went undrafted, coming out of the US High School system as a 17-year-old. Walker moved to the WHL as an 18-year-old, where he posted 34 points in 46 games and a PCS% of 7 per cent. The next season Walker posted nearly a point per game pace and a PCS% of 8 per cent.
With no pro-contract, Walker went back to the WHL where he produced a disappointing 54 points in 71 games as a 20-year-old overager.
Walker may be familiar to Jets fans, as he took part of both the Jets developmental and rookie camps in 2014. From there he earned himself an AHL contract with the Jets’ farm team in St. John’s.
Albert has one goal in 9 NHL games and a 46.2 per cent Corsi rating with heavily sheltered zone starts. In the AHL, Albert has 119 points in 217 games, plus 12 points in 36 postseason games.
Walker has four points in 36 games in the AHL. In the WHL, Walker had 140 points in 176 games, and 15 in 19 postseason games.