The New York Islanders, parent club of the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, announced today that forwards Justin Florek, Ben Holmstrom, Bracken Kearns, Justin Vaive, Joe Whitney and James Wright have agreed to terms on one-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) contracts.
Florek, 25, played 73 games with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League last season, scoring 35 points (11 goals, 24 assists). Selected by Boston in the fifth round (135th overall) of the 2010 National Hockey League Draft, Florek has appeared in 221 AHL games with Providence, recording 43 goals and 61 assists for 104 points. He also has one goal and one assist in four NHL games with Boston.
Holmstrom, 28, scored 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 62 games with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL last season. Prior to playing with Charlotte, Holmstrom spent four seasons in the Philadelphia Flyers organization, appearing in seven NHL games. For his AHL career, Holmstrom has totaled 54 goals and 88 assists for 142 points in 318 games with Charlotte and Adirondack.
Kearns, 34, recorded 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 45 games with the Espoo Blues of Finland’s SM-Liiga last season. Kearns has skated in 518 AHL games with Cleveland, Milwaukee, Norfolk, Rockford, San Antonio and Worcester, tallying 116 goals and 175 assists for 291 points. He also participated in the 2013 AHL All-Star Classic. In the NHL, Kearns has appeared in 31 games with Florida and San Jose, notching three goals and two assists.
Vaive, 25, scored 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) in 62 games last season with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, and added one assist in eight postseason contests. A fourth-round draft pick by Anaheim in 2007, Vaive has played 145 career AHL games, notching 17 goals and 24 assists for 41 points.
Whitney, 27, was the Albany Devils’ leading scorer each of the last four seasons, and set career highs with 37 assists and 60 points in 66 contests in 2014-15. He also appeared in four NHL games with New Jersey last season, notching his first career goal. An AHL All-Star in 2014 and 2015, Whitney has totaled 86 goals and 123 assists for 209 points in 278 career AHL games played.
Wright, 25, tallied 19 points (15 goals, four assists) in 53 games with Zagreb Medvescak of the Kontinental Hockey League last season. A fourth-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in 2008, Wright has played 146 NHL games with Winnipeg and Tampa Bay, recording four goals and eight assists. In 196 AHL contests with San Antonio and Norfolk, he has 33 goals and 64 assists for 97 points.