On Tuesday, the Manitoba Moose announced that the club had signed forwards Cole Maier and Brent Pedersen to standard one-year, American Hockey League contracts for the 2020-21 season. Following AHL protocol, terms of two deals were not made public.
The two young forwards both suited up for the majority of the 2019-20 season with the Moose, after originally breaking onto the scene the previous year. Used primarily in depth, bottom-six roles, the 24-year-olds did put together some offence, while learning Manitoba’s systems under head coach Pascal Vincent.
Maier, of Pequannock, NJ., dressed in 59 games for the Moose this past year, scoring seven times, while finishing with 15 points and 12 penalty minutes. He skated in three games with Manitoba in 2018-19, scoring once. Prior to his time in the AHL, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound centreman attended Union College of the ECAC, where he put up 38 goals and 95 points in 133 games.
Pedersen, of Arthur, ON., split the 2019-20 season with Manitoba and the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears. With the Moose, he skated in 36 games, totalling three goals, nine points, six penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating, while with Orlando, he scored one goal and added three assists and four penalty minutes in six games. Following a four-year OHL career with the Kitchener Rangers, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound winger suited up for three years in the OUAA with Laurentian University, where he scored 27 goals and 59 points in 56 games.
The AHL cut it season short following a lengthy pause due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Manitoba finished the year dead-last in the Central Division with a 27-33-1 record, good for 55 points. Only three teams had lower year-end point totals than the Moose in 2019-20. Maier and Pedersen are expected to help lead the charge next season.