TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have resigned forward Ondrej Palat to a three-year contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Palat, 23, skated in 81 games for the Lightning during the 2013-14 season, collecting 23 goals and 59 points to go along with a plus-32 rating. He was named a finalist for the Calder Trophy, given annually to the top NHL rookie, which will be announced on Tuesday, June 24 in Las Vegas. He ranked second among all NHL rookies for points and was third for goals. Palat also led all Lightning skaters for points and plus/minus. He became just the third player in Lightning franchise history to finish the season with a plus/minus rating better than 30.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed center Tyler Johnson to a three-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. Johnson was scheduled to become a restricted free agent.
Johnson, 5-foot-9, 181 pounds, played in his first full NHL season in 2013-14 and parlayed it into a nomination for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year. He was one of three players to appear in all 82 games during the regular season, ranking fourth on the Lightning for goals with 24 and fifth for points with 50. His plus-23 rating was second on the team. Johnson was third among NHL rookies for points and tied for first for goals. He led all NHL first-year forwards for average time on ice with 18:47 per game and face-offs taken with 1,275. Johnson became just the second rookie in NHL history, the first since Dennis Maruk in 1975-76, to record five power-play and five shorthanded goals in one season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Dylan Blujus to a three-year entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Blujus, 20, skated in 55 games with the North Bay Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League during the 2013-14 season, collecting four goals and 30 points to go along with 56 penalty minutes. He led all Battalion defensemen for assists with 26. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound defenseman also skated in 22 playoff games for North Bay, posting four goals and 10 points. Blujus led all North Bay defensemen for playoff goals, with three of his four tallies coming on the man-advantage. He helped guide the Battalion to the OHL Championships against the Guelph Storm.
The Buffalo, New York native has played in 256 career OHL games over four seasons with Brampton and North Bay, amassing 17 goals and 119 points. He recorded a career-best plus-12 rating in 2013-14.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed goaltender Andrei Vasilevskii to a three-year, entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Vasilevskii, 6-foot-3, 203 pounds, played in 28 games with Salavat Yulaev Ufa of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League this season, posting a 14-8 record with three shutouts, a 2.21 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. He led all Ufa goaltenders for games played, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts. Vasilevskii also led his team to the semi-finals of the KHL playoffs in 2014, posting a 9-9 record with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage with one shutout. He ranked tied for fourth in the KHL during the playoffs for save percentage and eighth for goals-against average.
The native of Tyumen, Russia made his KHL debut last season, playing in eight games for Salavat Yulaev. He went 4-1 with a 2.22 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage. In all, Vasilevskii has appeared in 36 KHL games, with an 18-9 record, a 2.21 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage with four shutouts. Prior to joining Salavat Yulaev, he played for their junior team, Tolpar Ufa, in the MHL.
Vasilevskii has shined on the international stage with Russia, appearing in each of the previous three IIHF U-20 World Junior Championships. He won the Silver Medal in 2012 as well as Bronze Medals in 2014 and 2013. Vasilevskii was voted by participating coaches as one of Russia’s top three players in each of the tournaments he has played in. He also participated in the 2011 IIHF U-18 World Junior Championships where he won the Bronze Medal.
The 19-year-old was drafted by the Lightning in the first round, 19th overall, at the 2012 NHL Draft.
The Tampa Bay Lightning signed defenseman Jake Dotchin to an entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Dotchin, 20, skated in 63 games with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League during the 2013-14 regular season, posting 11 goals and 36 points. He led the Colts for penalty minutes with 121 and was third with a plus-22 rating. He ranked second among defensemen on Barrie for power-play goals with six and first for shorthanded goals with two. The Cambridge, Ontario native has also appeared in 11 playoff games for the Colts, recording three goals and five points.
The 6-foot-3, 209-pound defenseman has played in 193 career OHL games over his three year junior career, collecting 18 goals and 77 points to go along with 279 penalty minutes. Dotchin set career-highs in 2013-14 for goals (11), assists (25) and points (36).
Dotchin was selected by the Lightning in the sixth round, 161st overall, at the 2012 NHL Draft.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Henri Ikonen to an entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. He will report to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League for the remainder of the season on an amateur tryout contract.
Ikonen, 19, played in 54 games with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League this season, posting 25 goals and 70 points to go along with 49 penalty minutes and a plus-17 rating. He ranked second on the Frontenacs for points and was tied for second for assists with 45. The Savolinna, Finland native scored three shorthanded goals which ranked tied for first on Kingston. Ikonen also skated in seven postseason games for the Frontenacs, recording a goal and six points.
The 5-foot-11, 182-pound forward played in seven games for Team Finland at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships in Sweden, recording a goal and three points. Ikonen won the Gold Medal with Team Finland at the tournament.
He has skated in 115 career OHL games, all with Kingston, over the past two seasons, collecting 47 goals and 121 points to go along with 79 penalty minutes. Ikonen set career highs for goals, assists, points, plus/minus and penalty minutes during the 2013-14 season.
Ikonen was selected by the Lightning in the sixth round, 154th overall, at the 2013 NHL Draft.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Adam Erne to an entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. He will report to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League for the remainder of the season on an amateur tryout contract.
Erne, 18, played in 48 games with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season, recording 21 goals and 62 points along with 65 penalty minutes. He ranked second on the Remparts for points and was fourth for goals. Erne played in one playoff game with Quebec during the QMJHL playoffs and recorded one goal.
The 6-foot-1, 206-pound forward appeared in 180 games over three seasons with Quebec, amassing 57 goals and 189 points to go along with 164 penalty minutes. He also skated in five games for the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships in Sweden, posting one assist.
Erne was selected by the Lightning in the second round, 33rd overall, at the 2013 NHL Draft
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent forward Cody Kunyk to a one year, two-way NHL contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Kunyk, 23, skated in 37 games for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks this season, posting 22 goals and 43 points to go along with 22 penalty minutes and a plus-13 rating. The 5-foot-11, 197-pound forward led the Nanooks for goals, points, power-play goals (six) and shorthanded goals (two). Kunyk was named the WCHA’s Player of the Year and to the First Team All-WCHA team. He also led the WCHA for scoring during the 2013-14 season.
The Sherwood Park, Alberta native skated in 148 games over four seasons at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, amassing 60 goals and 133 points. He set career highs his senior year for goals, assists (21) and points. Kunyk became the 30th Nanook in program history to join the 100-point club with a goal on November 22, 2013.
Kunyk also participated in the Lightning’s development camp this past summer.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Joel Vermin to a three-year, entry level contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. Vermin was selected by the Lightning in the seventh round, 186th overall, at the 2013 NHL Draft in New Jersey this past summer.
Vermin, 21, skated in 47 games last season with Bern (Swiss-A), recording 13 goals and 35 points to go along with 14 penalty minutes. Vermin skated in 19 playoff games, posting three goals and nine points for Bern. The Frauenkappelen, Switzerland native has appeared in 128 career games with Bern over the past four seasons, amassing 25 goals and 63 points to go along with 20 penalty minutes.
The 5-foot-11, 192-pound forward has represented Switzerland at the World Jr. Championships in both 2011 and 2012, posting four goals and six points in 12 career games in the tournament. Vermin led the Swiss team in 2012 for goals (four) and points (six) during the tournament.
Vermin will be assigned to play with Bern for the upcoming 2013-14 season.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis (güd-LEV-skeez, KRISS-turs) to a three-year, two-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. Gudlevskis was recently drafted in the fifth round, 124th overall, of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in Newark, New Jersey.
Gudlevskis, 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, played in 56 games with HC Riga in Russia’s top junior league, the MHL, last season, posting a 27-18 record with a .927 save percentage and a 2.09 goals-against average with three shutouts. He ranked fourth in the MHL for save percentage among goaltenders with more than seven games played and sixth for goals-against average. Gudlevskis’ three shutouts were tied for 10th in the league. He also appeared in three playoff games. Gudlevskis also played in two games with the Riga Dinamo of the KHL last season, his debut in Europe’s top league, posting a 1-1 record with a .921 save percentage and 2.18 goals-against average.