While we’re still a long way from the AHL season getting underway, Laval continues to add some depth as they announced the signing of Brent Gates to a one-year, two-way contract.
The 23-year-old centre was a third-round pick of Anaheim (80th overall) back in 2015 but never signed with the Ducks following a productive four-year college career at the University of Minnesota. Instead, he accepted a minor league contract for 2019-20 where he split his time between AHL San Diego and ECHL Tulsa.
He was much more productive at the lower level, picking up 10 goals and 10 assists in 25 games with the Oilers. In the AHL with the Gulls, however, Gates struggled to make much of an impact offensively as he had just four goals and an assist in 20 games.
The strength of Laval’s likely roster to start next season lies down the middle with veteran returnees like Laurent Dauphin and Lukas Vejdemo while one of Ryan Poehling or Jake Evans may be back as well. Cam Hillis will begin his entry-level deal and should get regular playing time with AHL veterans Kevin Lynch and Sam Vigneault also pushing to get into the lineup. Accordingly, Gates will likely have to start in the ECHL where they don’t have an official affiliate at this time.