Winnipeg Jets enforcer Rick Rypien was found dead at his Alberta home on Monday at the age of 27.
The former Vancouver Canucks forward had signed a one-year $700,000 (£425,000) deal with the Jets last month.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they received a call about a "sudden and non-suspicious" death on Monday, but so far no cause of death has been given.
"Rick was a talented player with an extremely bright future," a statement on the Jets website read. "His hunger for the game made him a valued team member both on and off the ice. This loss has impacted us as more than just a hockey team."
Rypien's is the second death of a serving NHL player this season, after New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard was found dead in May at the age of 28 after an accidental overdose.