Contract Status

Event tag that describes a prospect being signed, re-signed, or denied a qualifying offer.

KHL Courting Harju?

The Swedish paper Norrbottens Kuriren is reporting that several teams in the Russian KHL are courting Lightning prospect Johan Harju and his teammate, Edmonton prospect Linus Omark. The Lightning reportedly had the inside track on signing Harju, who at 22 years of age was the second leading goal scorer in the Swedish Elitserien for Lulea, earlier in the season. However, the entrance of the Russian league into the equation complicates matters. NHL rookie contracts are capped at around $900,000, while wealthy Russian owners flush with cash are willing to spend lavishly on young stars like Harju, putting the Lightning at a disadvantage in a potential bidding war. The question is: will Harju choose the better lifestyle and top flight competition of the NHL, or will he choose to chase the big bucks behind the former iron curtain?

Harju is quoted in the report as saying, "The NHL is the dream and that is what I am aiming for." However, he didn't close the door completely, stating, "The way of life is a bit special in Russia, but it would also be an adventure in its own way."

More on this story as it develops...

Lightning to Sign Top Swedish Prospect Harju

The Swedish newspaper the Norlandska Socialdemokraten is reporting (link in Swedish) that the Lightning have signaled their intention to sign Swedish sniper Johan Harju at the end of this season. Lulea GM Lars Bergstrom is quoted in the paper as being resigned to the fact that Harju and his teammate, Edmonton prospect Linus Omark, will be headed to North America next season. Harju, who was drafted by the Lightning in the 6th round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, has played much of this season at second line center for Lulea, but can also play left wing. The 22 year old, 6'3" 205 lbs forward is currently tied for 12th in the Elitserien in scoring with 20 goals and 34 points in 44 games. Those 20 goals are tied for 4th best in the league and his 9 power play goals are tied for 3rd best.

Hat tip to Sotnos from the message boards.

Admirals Sign Ganzak to PTO

Responding to the sudden loss of over half of their defensive corps due to injuries or callups, the Norfolk Admirals have announced the signing of defenseman Mitch Ganzak to a PTO contract. The 6'0" 205 lbs blueliner has spent the balance of this season in the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers, where he has scored 4 goals and 22 points in 29 games. Prior to this season, Ganzak was the recipient of a 2 game tryout with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL, in which he tallied 1 assist, after 4 years spent with Miami of the CCHA.

Bolts Sign Tokarski

Sportsbook Review is reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning signed prospect goaltender Dustin Tokarski to a standard three year entry level contract on Tuesday.

Tokarski, selected by the Lightning in the 5th round (122nd overall) of the 2008 draft, is currently playing for Team Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championships.

The 19-year-old is midway through his third season with Spokane of the Western Hockey League where he has posted a record of 16-9-2 with four shutouts and a 1.97 goals-against average.

Courtnall Chooses Boston University

According to a Boston University fan blog, Justin Courtnall of the BCHL's Victoria Grizzlies has pledged his services to NCAA hockey power Boston University. The Terriers are currently ranked No.3 in the latest USCHO men's Division I hockey poll.

Courtnall currently leads the Grizzlies in scoring with 12 goals, 30 assists and 42 points in 37 games.

He joins defenseman Luke Witkowski (Fargo, USHL - Western Michigan Univ.) as North American junior prospects of the Lightning with verbal commitments to NCAA programs.

A verbal commitment is not binding. Commitments can be made official when a player has signed his letter of intent.

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