NHL 'PTO' tracker: Hurricanes sign Zach Aston-Reese to professional tryout

Several NHL veterans are vying for roster spots on professional tryout agreements this fall. Here's the up-to-date list.

The NHL's free agent frenzy is long over, with teams now firmly setting their sights on training camps later this month.

But before camps begin, unsigned players have one last chance to try and crack a roster for the 2023-24 season. In the weeks leading up to camp every year, a number of veterans sign professional tryout agreements (also known as PTOs). These agreements often don't bear any fruit, but teams occasionally strike gold and end up landing a contributor.

Here are all the players who have committed to PTOs thus far:

NHL veteran Zach Aston-Reese is heading to Hurricanes camp on a PTO. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
NHL veteran Zach Aston-Reese is heading to Hurricanes camp on a PTO. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Anaheim Ducks

Zack Kassian, Forward: Kassian has carved out a lengthy NHL career and will try to crack the Ducks' roster after being bought out by the Arizona Coyotes this offseason. He won't be expected to score 15 goals like he did twice with the Edmonton Oilers, but he'll add some grit to a young team.

Arizona Coyotes

Ryan Dzingel, Forward: Dzingel has over 400 games played at the NHL level, last appearing for the Coyotes and San Jose Sharks in 2021-22. The 31-year-old was in Carolina's camp last year on a two-way deal but didn't make the team.

Peter Diliberatore, Defense: Diliberatore split last season between the AHL and ECHL, playing for the affiliates of the Vegas Golden Knights and Pittsburgh Penguins. He was a sixth-round pick of the Golden Knights in 2018.

On Wednesday, the Coyotes dropped their full list of PTO agreements, with Dzingel and 2016 fifth overall pick Olli Juolevi headlining the group:

Boston Bruins

Danton Heinen, Forward: Heinen began his career with the Bruins, spending his first three-and-a-half seasons with the organization. The 28-year-old played with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2022-23, scoring eight goals and 22 points.

Shane Starrett, Goalie: The 29-year-old netminder spent last season in the ECHL, having previously played in Great Britain's Elite Ice Hockey League.

Vincent Arseneau, Forward: The 31-year-old has been a staple in the Vancouver Canucks farm system as a veteran depth winger for the Utica Comets, and later the Abbotsford Canucks.

Carolina Hurricanes

Nicholas Shore, Forward: The 30-year-old has bounced around the NHL over his career, spending time with five different organizations. He last played in the 2019-20 season, splitting the campaign between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets.

Cory Conacher, Forward: After battling medical issues, Conacher is hoping to return to the NHL for the 2023-24 season. He has played parts of seven seasons in the NHL, most recently with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2019-20. Conacher logged 17 AHL games with Charlotte and Belleville last season after playing the previous two years in Switzerland.

Brendan Perlini, Forward: The 12th overall pick of the 2014 draft has bounced around over his five years in the NHL, last appearing for the Edmonton Oilers in 2021-22. He has scored 50 goals over his 262 games.

Nathan Beaulieu, Defense: Beaulieu, 30, was a first-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in 2011 and has played in 471 NHL games over his career. He skated in 52 games for the Ducks last season, recording four assists.

Kieffer Bellows, Forward: The former first-round pick has not lived up to the lofty expectations of draft night, finding himself shipped to the Philadelphia Flyers last season after three unproductive years with the New York Islanders. He'll look to get things back on track after tallying just three goals in 27 games last season.

Jayden Halbgewachs, Forward: The diminutive winger spent last season in the Swedish Hockey League, posting a productive 10 goals and 10 assists in 52 games, having spent the prior five years in the San Jose Sharks system. The undrafted winger once scored 70 goals in 72 games as an overager in Junior.

Zach Aston-Reese, Forward: The veteran heads into Hurricanes camp having appeared in 77 games for the Maple Leafs in 2022-23, scoring a career-high 10 goals in the process. All told, the 29-year-old has laced up the skates for 307 NHL contests, with 213 of those coming with the Penguins.

Colorado Avalanche

Joel Kiviranta, Forward: The 27-year-old joins the Avalanche after four seasons with the Dallas Stars, in which he scored 16 goals across 163 games. The Finn's best NHL moment thus far was scoring a Game 7 hat trick to eliminate the Avalanche from the 2020 playoffs.

Saku Maenalanen, Forward: Maenalanen will look to earn a role with the Avalanche after spending last season with the Winnipeg Jets. The Finnish winger has spent the bulk of his career overseas, but returned to the NHL last year with four goals and 10 points.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Stefan Matteau, Forward: Matteau is returning to the Blue Jackets after spending two seasons with the team earlier in his career. He played in Germany's Deutsche Eishockey Liga last year.

Benjamin Roger, Defense: A former second-round selection of the Ottawa Senators, Roger spent his junior career with the London Knights and Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL, ultimately going unsigned and undrafted as an overager.

Jake Gaudet, Forward: Gaudet spent last season with the AHL's Cleveland Monsters, the minor league affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche, dressing for 19 games and recording a goal and two assists.

Thomas Schemitsch, Defense: The Thornhill, ON native spent last season in the SHL with the Malmo Red Hawks, having previously played in the Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche systems.

Dallas Stars

Jordie Benn, Defense: The 12-year NHL veteran is still hoping to play and is aiming for a return to the team he broke into the league with. Benn factored into 12 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season, recording two points while averaging 15:48 of ice time.

Christopher Gibson, Goalie: The 30-year-old Finnish netminder has spent the bulk of his career moving around the AHL, most recently with the Seattle Kraken affiliated Coachella Valley Firebirds. In 20 games with them last season, he posted an .894 save percentage.

Detroit Red Wings

Cameron Hillis, Forward: A third-round pick in 2018, Hillis registered two assists in 18 games with AHL Rockford last season. The 23-year-old also scored 16 goals and 52 points over 48 ECHL contests.

Edmonton Oilers

Brandon Sutter, Forward: Sutter, 34, is set to return to pro hockey for the first time since the 2020-21 season. After contracting COVID-19 during a team outbreak while playing for the Vancouver Canucks, the centerman was forced to step away from the game for the past two campaigns as he battled long COVID symptoms.

Sam Gagner, Forward: Gagner was drafted by the Oilers in 2007 and spent seven years with the team between 2007-14 before rejoining the organization for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 campaigns. Most recently, the veteran forward played 48 games for the Winnipeg Jets last season, totalling eight goals and 14 points.

Adam Erne, Forward: Erne was taken by the Lightning in the second round of the 2013 draft and spent three seasons in Tampa in mostly a bottom-six role. The 28-year-old spent the past four campaigns in Detroit, posting 27 goals and 62 points in 241 contests with the Red Wings. The seven-year NHL veteran has 89 points in 355 career games.

Los Angeles Kings

J-F Berube, Goaltender: Berube only has 40 games of NHL experience under his belt across four seasons but could be a depth piece for the Kings. He spent last year with the Florida Panthers' AHL team in Charlotte.

Minnesota Wild

Peyton Jones, Goaltender: Jones spent last season in the U.K.'s EIHL, having previously spent time in the Colorado Avalanche system.

Landon Kosior, Defense: An offensive minded rearguard, Kosior went undrafted, but tallied 63 points in 60 games last season for the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL.

Kale Kessy, Forward: An AHL lifer, Kessy is a gritty forward who spent last season split between the Hershey Bears and the Colorado Eagles, scoring two goals in 30 games.

Greg Meireles, Forward: A 2019 draft pick of the Florida Panthers, Meireles spent the past two season in the Winnipeg Jets farm system, including playing 62 games for the Manitoba Moose last season recording 19 points.

Joel Teasdale, Forward: Teasdale made a brief two-game cameo with the Montreal Canadiens in 2022-23, registering an assist with a -2 rating.

Mike O'Leary, Forward: O'Leary, a 25-year-old Halifax native, is already familiar with the Wild's system, having played 66 games for the Iowa Wild last year.

Nashville Predators

Dylan Wells, Goaltender: Wells, 25, made his NHL debut last season for the Chicago Blackhawks and only appeared in one game, coming in for a relief appearance and stopping 12 of 13 shots.

New Jersey Devils

Maxwell Willman, Forward: Willman, a left-shot center, was a five-year player at Brown University after he was selected by the Flyers in the fifth round in 2014. The 28-year-old has 50 NHL games with Philadelphia under his belt, where he's posted four goals and six points.

New York Islanders

Jackson Cates, Forward: The 25-year-old Minnesota native spent the bulk of last season in the American Hockey League with the Philadelphia Flyers AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley Phantoms. In 20 career NHL games, he has a goal and an assist.

Ottawa Senators

Josh Bailey, Forward: The ninth-overall pick of the 2008 draft has enjoyed a lengthy career, suiting up in 1,057 NHL games — all with the Islanders. The 33-year-old is coming off a season in which he scored eight goals and 25 points. He was traded to the Blackhawks in June, but Chicago bought out the final year of his contract.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Austin Wagner, Forward: The former fourth-round pick appeared in seven games for the Blackhawks in 2022-23 after spending his first three years with the Kings. He has recorded 23 goals and 19 assists in 178 career games.

Libor Hajek, Defense: Hajek, 25, was a member of the New York Rangers for the past five seasons. He suited up for 16 games in 2022-23, scoring one goal while averaging 13:16 per night.

Mark Pysyk, Defense: Pysyk enters Penguins training camp with 521 NHL games and 104 points to his name. Now 31, the blueliner missed all of last season due to an Achilles injury. His last NHL action came with the Buffalo Sabres in 2021-22, when he scored three goals and added nine assists in 68 games.

Colin White, Forward: A former first-round pick of the Ottawa Senators in 2015, White will look to get his career back on track as he joins the Penguins. The Massachusetts native spent last season with the Florida Panthers, while he experienced his most productive season in 2018-19 when he tallied 41 points.

San Jose Sharks

Justin Bailey, Forward: Bailey, 28, has played 82 games at the NHL level, notching five goals and nine points between stints in Buffalo, Philadelphia and Vancouver. He spent last season with the AHL's Bakersfield Condors.

St. Louis Blues

Isaac Ratcliffe, Forward: A second-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2017, Ratcliffe has just 10 games of NHL experience so far in his career. He split last season between the AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Milwaukee Admirals.

Nick Ritchie, Forward: Ritchie split last season between the Coyotes and Flames, recording 13 goals and 13 assists over 74 games. The 27-year-old has spent eight seasons in the NHL, registering 84 goals and 102 assists over that time.

Andy Welinski, Defense: Welinski, 30, has spent the last two seasons in the American Hockey League in stints with the affiliates of the Calgary Flames, New York Rangers, and Chicago Blackhawks, As a highly coveted right-hand shot defender, there's an outside opportunity he could earn NHL minutes this year as an injury call-up.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Noah Gregor, Forward: The 25-year-old Gregor spent the previous four seasons with the San Jose Sharks and is coming off a 10-goal, 17-point campaign.

Vegas Golden Knights

Max Comtois, Forward: The former top prospect has fallen from grace in recent years, but Comtois still represents a solid potential depth option for the defending Cup champs. The former World Juniors hero picked up nine goals and 19 points in 64 games with Anaheim last season.