Walleye ink first player — Cole Fraser

Defenseman Cole Fraser has agreed to terms with the Toledo Walleye for the 2021-22 season.

Fraser, a native of Carleton Place, Ontario, joins the Walleye after spending last year in the ECHL between Allen (10 games played), South Carolina (18 GP) and Utah (27 GP). Combined in his three stops, the 21-year-old amassed 163 penalty minutes to go along with seven points (4 goals, 3 assists). The former fifth round pick by Detroit in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft did suit up for Allen in the 2019-20 campaign with four goals, four assists and 74 penalty minutes.

“Cole will bring a physical element to our defensive corps that you need in order to win in the ECHL,” said head coach Dan Watson. “He will be a big part of our penalty kill, and he is a player that is willing to get better.  We look forward to helping him grow in his development.”

Prior to turning professional, Fraser spent four years in the OHL with the Peterborough Petes. In total, he logged 221 games with 14 goals, 40 assists and 277 penalty minutes. He appeared in a career best 61 games in the 2016-17 season which also saw the 6-foot-2, 201-pound defenseman scored a career best six goals.

The Walleye announced its list of players that have received qualifying offers for the 2021-22 season. 

Goaltender Billy Christopoulos, forwards Hunter Garlent and Brandon Hawkins, along with defensemen Ryan Lowney, Blake Hillman, Trevor Hamilton, Randy Gazzola, and Ryker Killins all received qualifying offers.

Players who had already signed a contract by July 23 did not need to receive a qualifying offer.

Each team was entitled to reserve the rights to a maximum of eight qualified players. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four could be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the upcoming 2021-22 season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded.

The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until August 9 at which time the qualifying offer becomes null and void and the team may sign the qualified player to any salary or may elect to take no further action. Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player shall retain the rights to that qualified player for one playing season.

A team that extends a valid qualifying offer to a veteran player, or to a goaltender who has played more than 180 regular-season games, will retain the rights to that player until August. After August 9, if the veteran player or goaltender is not signed to a contract by the team, the player shall be deemed a restricted free agent and shall be entitled to seek and secure offers of employment from other ECHL teams. Restricted free agents may not be traded. 

When a restricted free agent receives a contract offer from a team other than the team with the player’s rights and the restricted free agent wishes to accept the contract offer, the restricted free agent and the offering member must, within 24 hours, notify the ECHL, the team with the player’s rights and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association. The member with the player’s rights shall have seven days after the date it is notified to exercise its right to match the contract offer.

If a restricted free agent is not signed to either an offer sheet or a contract by an ECHL team by August 16, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.



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