Landon Ferraro

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Several first-rounders such as Etem, Bennett go on waivers

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Tuesday’s waiver list was an eyebrow-raiser because Jordan Nolan was on it. The elevation of such eyebrows seemed justified once the Buffalo Sabres snatched him up today.

If Wednesday’s waivers share a theme, it might be failed (or at least struggling) first-round picks.

Emerson Etem, Beau Bennett and Stefan Matteau were all first-rounders. Bennett (20th overall) and Etem (29th) were both selected in 2010, while Matteau was the 29th choice in 2012.

Ty Rattie just barely misses that theme; he was a second-rounder in 2011, yet was very close to going in the first as the Blues made him the 32nd pick. Landon Ferraro falls into a similar spot: 32nd overall, only in 2009.

Here’s the full list, via TVA’s Renaud Lavoie.

It will be interesting to see if teams decide that some of these guys are worth a very minor gamble.

Bennett, 25, ranks among those getting some hype:

His development was stunted by injuries, particularly during his days with the Pittsburgh Penguins, so perhaps Bennett is one of those guys who can turn things around.

For some, it sure seems like their NHL careers might not really pan out.

Bad sign for Allen? Blues recall Binnington

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The St. Louis Blues haven’t provided additional information about Jake Allen‘s “apparent injury,” so we must read between the lines.

It could be mere due diligence, yet it’s not the greatest sign that the Blues recalled goalie Jordan Binnington (while demoting Landon Ferraro) on Sunday.

As far as we know, the Blues might begin the 2016-17 season with the goalie duo of Carter Hutton and Binnington, a far cry from the Allen – Brian Elliott combo.

Ken Hitchcock noted that the Blues are confident in Hutton if Allen indeed does need to miss some time.

“If Jake goes down, we’ve got no issue playing Carter at all,” Hitchcock said, via NHL.com.

Hutton has 76 games of NHL experience, including putting up a solid .918 save percentage in 17 games with Nashville in 2015-16.

Blues sign Landon Ferraro to one-year, two-way deal

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The Boston Bruins decided not to give Landon Ferraro a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent. On Friday, the St. Louis Blues decided to sign the 24-year-old forward.

The Blues announced that they signed Ferraro to a one-year, two-way contract.

For Ferraro, this marks the third NHL team of his career. Originally a second-round pick of the Red Wings in 2009, Ferraro appeared in 10 games for Detroit last season, before he was placed on waivers.

The Bruins claimed him off waivers, then put him in the lineup for 58 games, mostly in a bottom-six, fourth line role, which included time on the Boston penalty kill. He scored five goals and 10 points.

Now with St. Louis, he could give the Blues additional depth among their bottom six forwards, which recently kept Kyle Brodziak on a two-year, $1.9 million contract extension.

Justin Schultz headlines list of RFAs not extended qualifying offers

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After hoisting the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this month, Justin Schultz could soon be joining another NHL team.

The Penguins didn’t extend Schultz a qualifying offer Monday, which means he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Already facing a cap crunch, Pittsburgh, had it opted to give Schultz a qualifying offer, would have to match his entire $3.9 million salary from his one-year contract in 2015-16.

The Penguins acquired Schultz from Edmonton just prior to the trade deadline, with GM Jim Rutherford praising his offensive upside, while admitting Schultz needed work in the defensive end.

Schultz played in 15 playoff games for Pittsburgh, adding an assist in the Cup-clinching win. However, it was shortly after winning the championship that it appeared his price tag would be too much for the Penguins.

Related: The Penguins are playing Schultz to his strengths

More notables:

Joe Colborne

The Calgary Flames did not offer the 26-year-old Joe Colborne a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent. He hit career highs in goals (19) and points (44) — also with a career-high shooting percentage of 19 per cent.

He wrapped up a two-year deal, worth $1.275 million.

The Flames also didn’t qualify center Josh Jooris and goalie Joni Ortio.

Ortio split the 2015-16 season between the Flames and their AHL affiliate, the Stockton Heat. With Calgary, he had a 7-9-5 record with a .902 save percentage, and was waived to go down to the minors, where he also struggled.

In a bid to bolster their goaltending situation, the Flames acquired Brian Elliott from the St. Louis Blues at the draft.

Brett Connolly

Once the sixth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, Brett Connolly didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Boston Bruins, after scoring nine goals and a single-season career high 25 points in 71 games with this season.

He was playing on a one-year, $1.025 million contract.

From CSNNE.com:

He struggled to produce offense even though he spent long stretches playing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand last season. Still, he was the sixth overall pick in the 2010 draft and the Bruins gave up two second-round picks to Tampa Bay for him less than two years ago, so the move is somewhat unexpected.

Landon Ferraro

Another interesting decision from the Bruins, who claimed Landon Ferraro off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings in November. The 24-year-old forward, on a one-year deal worth $600,000 for 2015-16, had five goals and 10 points — all with the Bruins as a member of their bottom-six group of forwards — this past season.

After getting claimed by Boston but before he played a game for that franchise, Bruins coach Claude Julien described Ferraro as a “reliable” player.

Linden Vey

Jim Benning, at his first draft as the Canucks general manager, used a second-round pick to acquire Linden Vey from the L.A. Kings, but the Canucks did not qualify him Monday.

That doesn’t come as much of a surprise, with Vey reportedly expecting the Canucks not to make him a qualifying offer.

The 24-year-old Vey scored four goals and 15 points in 41 games this past season, after he was recalled from AHL Utica.

Prior to the beginning of this past season, Vey was put on waivers and eventually sent down to the minors, before getting recalled. In his first season with the Canucks, he entered training camp and was immediately given first-unit power play duties. He ended up scoring 10 goals and 24 points that season.

Off the ice, however, Vey has been troubled by family turmoil. Last month, it was reported in The Province newspaper that Vey’s father, Curtis, was set to go to trail on charges of conspiracy to murder his wife.

Brandon Pirri

The Ducks acquired Brandon Pirri from the Florida Panthers at the trade deadline. A year removed from a 22-goal season in Florida, Pirri then had three goals and five points in nine games with the Ducks.

From the Orange County Register:

Pirri is arbitration eligible and with 14 combined goals with the Ducks and Panthers last season, he could get a bump up from his $975,000 salary and the Ducks appear to want that slot open for a cheaper, more multi-dimensional forward.

— Brandon Gormley

According to the Denver Post, the Colorado Avalanche didn’t tender a qualifying offer to 24-year-old defenseman Brandon Gormley, once a 13th overall pick of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2010.

He has been unable to turn that into an established position at the NHL level.

He struggled in Colorado, eventually getting put on waivers. He split time between the Avalanche and San Antonio Rampage in the minors.

According to the aforementioned report, the Avalanche also plan to buy out the contract of 36-year-old defenseman Brad Stuart.

One-year contract in Boston ‘would be ideal,’ says Connolly

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Brett Connolly‘s time with the Bruins hasn’t been great, but it hasn’t been terrible either.

Which sort of sums up his NHL career to this point.

Connolly, the sixth overall pick in 2010, posted career highs across the board this year in Boston — 71 games played, nine goals, 25 points — but has yet to make the leap to full-time, top-six forward status.

The leap may never come.

But Connolly, a pending RFA, wants to try and make it in Boston.

“You’re not really too sure what’s going to happen. But [a one-year contract] would be ideal, to have another crack it to prove yourself,” Connolly said, per the Boston Herald. “There were some good times for me and some rough patches. It’s just a matter of being consistent. I still want to prove to this organization that I could be a good player and a consistent player.”

Connolly, who turns 24 in May, will have his one-year, $1.025 million deal expire in July. He had some good auditions this season for the aforementioned top-six role — receiving several looks on Brad MarchandPatrice Bergeron line — but seemed more effective in a fourth-line capacity.

(As the Herald notes, the Connolly-Noel AcciariLandon Ferraro trio was one of Boston’s more effective checking lines this season.)

Considering he’s an RFA and given what the club gave up to acquire him — two second-round picks — it’s likely Boston sticks with Connolly for another year.

But that hardly means he’s safe.

In his year-end remarks, Bruins president Cam Neely said getting “heavier” at right wing — Connolly’s natural position — was one of three areas of improvement he and GM Don Sweeney would tackle this offseason.

Related: Neely’s sick of Boston media ‘stirring the pot’