The Detroit Red Wings continued their signing splurge, adding two more depth forwards to the mix. Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman signed Austin Czarnik to a two-year two-way deal and Matt Luff to a one-year two-way deal late Wednesday afternoon.
The deal bring Detroit’s total to seven free agents signed on the first day of free agency.
Austin Czarnik is a 29-year-old forward who can play center or right wing. He went undrafted after playing in the USDP and Green Bay (USHL). He attended Miami University (Ohio) for four years, where he was captain during his last two years. Czarnik started his professional career in the Boston organization and has also played in the Calgary, Seattle, and New York Islanders systems.
In 142 career regular-season NHL games, Czarnik has scored 15 goals, 30 assists, 45 points, and has a -7 rating. In 227 regular season AHL games, he has scored 81 goals, 144 assists, 225 points, and has a +27 rating.
Austin Czarnik started last season with Seattle before he was placed on waivers and claimed by the New York Islanders. Czarnik split the remainder of the season between New York and Bridgeport (AHL). Last season, Czarnik played 17 games in the NHL, collecting two goals, five assists, seven points, and had a +5 rating. In 38 regular season games with Bridgeport, Czarnik scored 14 goals, 23 assists, 37 points, and had a -3 rating. In six playoff games, he scored three goals, seven assists, 10 points, and had a +3 rating.
Czarnik will have a cap hit of $762,500 for the next two years. He is expected to start the season in Grand Rapids (AHL) and will provide valuable experience and depth to a young Griffins lineup.
Matt Luff is a 25-year-old right winger. He went undrafted after playing for Belleville and Hamilton in the OHL. He started his professional career in the Los Angeles organization and last played in the Nashville system.
In 87 career regular season games, Luff has scored 13 goals, ten assists, 23 points, and has a -8 rating. In 169 career AHL regular season games, Luff has scored 49 goals, 71 assists, 120 points, and has a +15 rating.
Last season, Luff played 23 games in Nashville, scoring three goals, three assists, and six points, and had a +3 rating. Luff also played 30 games in Milwaukee (AHL), scoring 14 goals, 17 assists, 31 points, and had a +1 rating.
Luff will carry a cap hit of $750,00 during his one-year deal. Luff is expected to start the year in Grand Rapids (AHL). He is also expected to add depth to a young Griffins roster during his time in the AHL.