The New York Islanders 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 the Boston Bruins in the fifth round (135th overall) of the 2010 National Hockey League Draft, Florek has appeared in 221 AHL games with Providence and four NHL games with Boston. The Marquette, MI native attended Northern Michigan University after two seasons with the United States National Team Development Program.
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, the Colorado Springs, CO native spent five years in the Philadelphia Flyers organization, appearing in seven NHL games and 256 AHL games with the Adirondack Phantoms.
Kearns, 34, recorded 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 45 games with the Espoo Blues of Finland’s SM-Liiga last season. The Vancouver, BC native has appeared in 31 career NHL games with the Florida Panthers and San Jose Sharks. He’s also played for six AHL teams, most recently skating with the Worcester Sharks from 2012-14, when he was named to the 2013 AHL All-Star Classic. In 518 career AHL games, he’s scored 291 points (116 goals, 175 assists).
Vaive, 25, scored 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) in 62 games last season with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack. A native of Buffalo, NY, Vaive was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the fourth round (92nd overall) of the 2007 NHL Draft. He’s played 145 career AHL games with Hartford and the San Antonio Rampage, totaling 41 points (17 goals, 24 assists).
Whitney, 27, played with the AHL’s Albany Devils last season, serving as an alternate captain and registering 60 points (23 goals, 37 assists) in 66 games. The Reading, MA native also played four NHL games with the New Jersey Devils and scored his first NHL goal last season. Whitney has eclipsed 50 points in the AHL in each of the past three years and has been named to the past two AHL All-Star Classics.
Wright, 25, tallied 19 points (15 goals, four assists) in 53 games with Zagreb Medvescak of the Kontinental Hockey League last season. A native of Saskatoon, SK, Wright has 146 games of NHL experience with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Winnipeg Jets. A fourth-round (117th overall) draft pick of the Lightning in 2008, Wright has also played with the Norfolk Admirals and San Antonio Rampage in the AHL.