TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Vladislav Namestnikov to a three-year, entry level contract, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Namestnikov, 19, has played in 60 games with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League this season, recording 22 goals and 70 points to go along with 50 penalty minutes. The 5-foot-11, 171-pound forward ranks eighth in the OHL and leads the Knights in assists with 48, and is third on the team in points. Namestnikov has recorded 14 multi-assist games so far this season with London, including two occasions in which he has recorded four assist contests.
The Voskresensk, Russia native has skated in 128 career games with the Knights over the past two seasons, registering 52 goals and 139 points, to go along with a +29 rating. Namestnikov appeared in six OHL playoff games last year with the Knights, recording one goal and five points.
The Lightning selected Namestnikov in the first round, 27th overall, at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Cory Conacher's reign as the Lightning's newest prospect lasted a day.
On Friday the Tampa Bay Lightning announced the signing of free agent forward Danick Gauthier of the Saint John Sea Dogs.
Gauthier, 6-foot-2, 201 pounds, has played in 59 games with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, recording 41 goals and 72 points, to go along with a plus-35 rating. He ranks second in the QMJHL in goals and is tied for 12th in points. Gauthier has recorded four hat-tricks this season and also leads the Sea Dogs with 11 power-play goals.
The Repentigny, Quebec, native has skated in 212 career games in the QMJHL with the Sea Dogs and Shawinigan Cataractes, posting 70 goals and 132 points, to go along with 219 penalty minutes. Gauthier was a member of the 2009-10 Sea Dogs team that won the Memorial Cup.
Jerome Berube of HockeyProspect.com called Gauthier a late bloomer and pointed out he only started playing in the league at age 18. HockeyProspects had Gauthier graded as a possible third round choice in the 2010 NHL draft.
"Good size with nice offensive upside," Berube said of Gauthier. "He will stick up for his teammates."
Gauthier, who camped with the Phoenix Coyotes last year after working out twice a day to further his chances at a professional career, has the potential to fill a void left by the departure of Carter Ashton to Toronto in a trade deadline day deal this week. The Lightning have a nice crop of skill forwards in the pipeline, but not many with grit and size.
Gauthier is eligible to join the Norfolk Admirals when the Sea Dogs are finished playing, but the defending Memorial Cup champs have an impressive roster and are highly likely to be one of the two teams from the Q in the Memorial Cup tournament in May.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Cory Conacher to a two-year, two-way contract today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Conacher, 5-foot-8, 180 pounds, has played in 57 games with the Norfolk Admirals this season, recording 30 goals, 13 power-play goals, 26 power-play points and 64 points. He leads the Admirals in goals, power-play goals, power-play points, points, and ranks second for assists with 34. Conacher is also tied for the AHL lead for PPGs, is second for goals and is tied for third in points. He was recently selected as a starter for the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic, where he had two goals and three points.
A native of Burlington, Ontario, Conacher has played in 64 career AHL games with Norfolk, the Milwaukee Admirals and the Rochester Americans, notching 34 goals and 70 points. He has played in seven career Calder Cup Playoff Games.
Conacher, an undrafted free agent, played four years at Canisus College prior to joining the professional ranks. He is the schoolâ€™s all-time leader in goals with 62, game-winning goals with 12 and points with 147. He signed a one-year, AHL contract with the Admirals on July 5, 2011.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Tom Pyatt for two years, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced. He is now signed through the 2013-14 season.
Pyatt, 5-foot-11, 187 pounds, has played in 35 games for the Lightning this season, recording three goals and five points while averaging 13:11 in ice time per game. He currently ranks third among all Tampa Bay forwards in average shorthanded ice time per game with 2:18 and tied for fourth in blocked shots with 20. His three goals this season are a career high. Pyatt has played in 136 career NHL games with the Lightning and Montreal Canadiens. He has recorded seven goals and 17 points in his career with 23 penalty minutes. Pyatt also played in 25 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, all with Montreal, registering two goals and four points, averaging 12:10 in ice time.
A native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Pyatt has played in 156 career AHL games with the Hartford Wolf Pack and the Hamilton Bulldogs. He has registered 32 goals and 83 points. Pyatt set career highs in 2008-09 with 15 goals and 37 points in 73 games with Hartford.
In a trio of moves, the Lightning have announced they have signed Pierre-Cedric Labrie to a 2 year 2-way NHL contract. The power forward has been playing for Norfolk under an AHL contract and should add more muscle and toughness to the organization. Additionally, the Lightning have announced the recall of defenseman Evan Oberg from Norfolk in the wake of Victor Hedman's upper body injury, and that they have reassigned defenseman Charles Landry from Florida of the ECHL to Norfolk in Oberg's place.