The Colorado Eagles have added three players on AHL contracts for the 2023–24 season in defenseman Michael Underwood, goaltender Garrett Metcalf and forward DJ Busdeker.
Underwood, 25, finished his collegiate career at Michigan State University after spending the previous four seasons at Clarkson University. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound blueliner scored five points (one goal, four assists) in 38 games with the Spartans. After Michigan State’s season ended, he was signed to a professional tryout contract with the Eagles. Underwood played in three games and scored no points.
Metcalf, 27, is certainly not new to the Colorado Avalanche organization, having played with their ECHL affiliate, the Utah Grizzlies, in parts of the last three seasons. Originally a 2015 sixth-round pick by the Anaheim Ducks, Metcalf played the most games with Utah in 2022–23, going 7–4–1 in 14 games played, compiling a 3.88 goals against average and a .890 save percentage.
He was loaned to the San Diego Gulls for five games but did not have a strong showing in the AHL, posting a 5.00 goals against average and .845 save percentage.
— Tony Androckitis* (@TonyAndrock) July 20, 2023
At 23 years of age, Busdeker will seek a fresh start with the Eagles after spending the last three seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks’ AHL outfit. The 5-foot-10, 181-pound winger enjoyed a strong season in 2021–22 with the IceHogs, scoring 26 points (six goals, 20 assists) and playing in all 62 games.
This past season, he had 13 points in 56 games. Busdeker hails from Dexter, Michigan, and played junior hockey with the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL, scoring 57 points (22 goals, 35 assists) in 62 games during the 2019–20 season, his last before turning pro. In 2021, he was named the Unsung Hero Award winner for the IceHogs.
He is slightly undersized, but the right winger has good speed and can navigate through traffic, finishing with a quick release and bringing 10 games of playoff experience with him to Colorado.