Erik Erlendsson is reporting that the Lightning have signed Traverse City invitee defenseman Charles Landry to an entry level deal. Landry, who turned 19 in June, played three seasons with Drummondville in the QMJHL, including playing for current Lightning Head Coach Guy Boucher during the 2008-2009 season when Drummondville made it to the Memorial Cup. The 5'11" 187 lbs blueliner had 6 goals and 30 points in 68 games last year for the Voltigeurs. The Lightning have assigned him to Montreal of the QMJHL for more junior seasoning. The strategy of signing undrafted junior prospects is similar to the practice followed by the Detroit Red Wings organization, which refers to the signees unofficially as "bonus picks."
The Tampa Bay Lightning signed left wing Alex Hutchings to a standard, three-year entry-level contract today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Hutchings, 5-foot-10, 173 pounds, played in 68 games with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League last season, recording 47 goals and 81 points. He ranked second on the Colts in goals and points. Hutchings was tied for fourth in the OHL for goals. His plus-44 rating was also third on the team. Hutchings played in 13 playoff games with Barrie last season, notching two goals and 10 points.
A native of Burlington, Ontario, Hutchings has played in 229 career OHL games, all with the Colts, registering 111 goals and 208 points. During the 2008-09 season he led the Colts in goals with 34, assists with 34, points with 68 and plus/minus with a plus-27. He also led Barrie with 29 goals and 54 points in 2007-08.
Hutchings was named to the OHL Eastern Conference All-Star Team during both the 2008-09 and 2007-08 seasons.
Hutchings, 19, was drafted by the Lightning in the fourth round, 93rd overall, of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He will be participating in the Traverse City Prospects Tournament, which gets under way tomorrow with the first scheduled practice.
--Tampa Bay Lightning press release
The Lightning have hired Frantz Jean as their new goaltending consultant, replacing the departed Cap Raeder. Jean has spent the last dozen years tutoring netminders for Moncton of the QMJHL. He's also served as the goaltending coach for Hockey Canada's 2009 and 2010 U18 entrants into the annual Ivan Hnlinka tournament.
As a part of the club's increased interest in player development under new GM Steve Yzerman, the Lightning have announced the hiring of former NHLer Steve Thomas as a Player Development Consultant. According to the Lightning's press release, the retired sniper, "will oversee the development of the Lightningâ€™s prospects in the junior and college ranks. He will provide guidance, mentoring and support to players in the Tampa Bay system to better prepare them for professional hockey." In 1,235 career NHL games, Thomas compiled 421 goals and 933 points in stints with six NHL teams including the Maple Leafs, Islanders, and Red Wings.
(Tampa Bay Lightning press release) The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent defenseman Randy Jones to a one-year contract today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.
â€œRandy is a skilled defenseman, capable of playing in all situations on both the right and left side,â€ Yzerman said. â€œHis addition gives us some needed depth on the blue line."
Jones, 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, has played in 265 career NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings. He has amassed 18 goals, three power-play goals, three game-winning goals and 90 points. Last season he played in 48 games with the Kings, recording five goals and 21 points. His five goals tied his career high and he ranked third among Los Angeles defenders in goals, assists and points.