No. 1 Evan McEneny
He’s not outstanding in any way, but he does everything that is asked of him. He managed to leapfrog Jordan Subban on the Canucks blueline prospects depth and ended the year as the most reliable blueliner in Utica last season.
Evan McEneny is almost ready to be an NHL player and everyone who was in Utica last year knows it.
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After time with the ECHL, McEneny has worked so hard to revive his career. Now as a 23-year-old who is signed to a two-year deal at under $700k per, he ideally should spend a full season in Utica as the club’s top defenceman.
I don’t know about you, but if I am the GM of an NHL team looking for blueline depth, I am picking McEneny up from the waivers nine times out of ten.
Because he was signed as an undrafted free agent and played tons of games in the ECHL/AHL level, the 23-year-old would be one of the youngest names available on the waiver at this time of the year.
A team could look at this season as a learning year for McEneny as a cheap seventh defenceman and use him as a very cheap third-pairing guy next season because he is already signed through the 2018-19 season.
I don’t have the answers on what to do with these players. Will some of these players end up on waivers? Most certainly. It could be all of them. For now, it’s up to these players to prove themselves ready for the NHL.