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UND's NHL free agency tracker: Simpson, Grimaldi sign deals

The NHL's free agency period opened Sunday.

Two former UND players signed free-agent deals.

Defenseman Dillon Simpson signed a two-year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets and forward Rocco Grimaldi signed a one-year deal with the Nashville Predators.

Nine former UND players who were under NHL contract last season remain as free agents. Four are unrestricted free agents. Five are restricted free agents, who are expected to re-sign with their teams.

UND's signed free agents

Carter Rowney (2009-13), Anaheim Ducks

-- The 2017 Stanley Cup champion signed a three-year, one-way deal worth $3.4 million to join Anaheim's organization. Rowney played 44 regular-season games and had five points last season for the Penguins. He appeared in three playoff games one year after being a regular on a Cup-winning team.

Dillon Simpson (2010-14), Columbus Blue Jackets

-- The 25-year-old former UND captain signed a two-year deal with the Blue Jackets after spending his first four professional seasons with the Edmonton Oilers organization. According to The Athletic's Aaron Portzline, Simpson's deal is worth $650,000 in 2018-19 and $700,000 in 2019-20 if he's in the NHL. He's guaranteed $150,000 this season and $200,000 next season.

Rocco Grimaldi (2011-14), Nashville Predators

-- The former UND forward signed a one-year, two-way contract with Nashville after spending the last two seasons with the Colorado Avalanche organization. Grimaldi has played four years in the pros, earning a handful of NHL games each season.

UND's unrestricted free agents

Drew Stafford (2003-06), New Jersey Devils

-- The 32-year-old forward has played in 784 NHL regular-season games. His role diminished last season with the Devils. Stafford had eight goals and 15 points in 59 games. Will he be able to find a landing spot?

Taylor Chorney (2005-08), Columbus Blue Jackets

-- Chorney was traded from the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to the Columbus Blue Jackets at the deadline and only played one game for Columbus.

Adam Tambellini (2013-14), New York Rangers

-- The New York Rangers declined to send Tambellini a qualifying offer, thus making him an unrestricted free agent.

UND's restricted free agents

Brock Nelson (2010-12), New York Islanders

Jordan Schmaltz (2012-15), St. Louis Blues

Paul LaDue (2013-16), Los Angeles Kings

Troy Stecher (2013-16), Vancouver Canucks

Tucker Poolman (2014-17), Winnipeg Jets

There are currently 35 former UND players signed on to play pro next season -- 21 are under NHL contract, one under AHL contract and 13 are signed in Europe.

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 13th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016 and 2018, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He also was the NCHC's inaugural Media Excellence Award winner in 2018. Schlossman has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.

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