Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has signed defensemen Macoy Erkamps and Blake Siebenaler to AHL contracts for the 2019-20 season, the team announced Monday.
Both Erkamps and Siebenaler were on NHL contracts with Pittsburgh during the 2018-19 season and were set to become restricted free agents. Both will be in their fourth professional seasons next year.
Erkamps, 24, was acquired from the Senators in December along with forward Ben Sexton in exchange for defenseman Stefan Elliott and forward Tobias Lindberg. Before the trade, Erkamps had spent the entire season in the ECHL with the Brampton Beast.
Following the trade, Erkamps spent the remainder of the year in the AHL with Wilkes-Barre, albeit as a healthy scratch for some games. He appeared in 24 games for Wilkes-Barre, registering four assists and a minus-3 rating. He gave out some pretty heavy hits in that time:
The Penguins acquired Siebenaler, 23, for free in a midseason trade. The return to Columbus was a conditional seventh-round pick that would only have gone Columbus’ way had Siebenaler played in 10 NHL games, a requirement he wasn’t expected to meet. He didn’t, so the Penguins kept the pick.
Siebenaler had been playing for the Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate in Cleveland before the trade, where he recorded one goal and one assist in 17 games. He played in one game with Wilkes-Barre following the trade, then was assigned to Wheeling due to a crowded Wilkes-Barre blue line. He recorded two assists in seven games with Wheeling before a leg injury March 15 ended his season.
Siebenaler was more of a points producer in juniors, but that hasn’t translated much to the pro ranks. When I spoke to him following the trade, he talked about wanting to improve his defensive game to be more successful in professional hockey, something he expects will lead to more offense.