The transition to the North American style of hockey has begun for Joel Vermin.
After a nine-hour trip from Switzerland on Sunday, the forward joined the Syracuse Crunch for practice this week. The Tampa Bay Lightning’s seventh-round selection in the 2013 draft will spend the next few weeks getting acclimated to the American Hockey League.
“Everything is new for me -- small ice rink, new team -- but I’m getting used to it,” said Vermin, who is expected to make his Crunch debut this weekend. “I’m feeling pretty good.”
Vermin signed a three-year deal with Tampa Bay in September, but was assigned to Bern of the Swiss A-League instead of coming over to North America. He will likely play in the Lightning organization in America next season.
SC Bern 1 @ EHC Biel 2 (SO)
Joel Vermin, FW, SC Bern: 0-0-0, +1, 2 SOG, 0 PIM
2013-2014: 7 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 10 SOG, 4 PIM
Looking to follow up on a regulation time win over HC Ambri-Piotta, Bern instead fell to Biel after surrendering two shootout goals and scoring none. Biel enjoyed a significant advantage in power play opportunities and, comfortably outshot Bern, which got 18 attempts on net, with 43 of their own. After seven matches, Joel Vermin is still pointless. Bern (9 points), which is currently in 9th place, will have a five-day layover before its next challenge on the road against Rapperswil (6 points) on Friday.
SC Bern 2 @ Lausanne HC 3 (OT)
Joel Vermin, FW, SC Bern: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
2013-2014: 4 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 4 PIM
Lausanne overcame an early 2-0 hole by finishing a comeback in the second-half of the game with an overtime winner from Thomas Deruns. Former NHLer (Kings, Canadiens, Blackhawks) Christobal Huet picked up the win, stopping 18 of 20 attempts in the match. 2013 7th-rounder Joel Vermin, who has yet to score a point this season, was held without a shot.
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.