The Mississippi Sea Wolves, the Lightning's new ECHL affiliate, have announced the signing of NCAA Division III star Kyle McCullough out of the University of Massachussetts-Dartmouth. McCullough, a forward, scored 64 goals and 154 points in 111 games during his college career. He becomes the second Mississippi player under contract for the 2007-2008 season along with veteran defenseman Chris Cava who was signed earlier this offseason.
According to TSN, the Lightning has signed former Pittsburgh Penguin and Brad Richards Rimouski Oceanic Michel Ouellet to a two-year deal. TSN is reporting Ouellet will make $1.2 in year one and $1.3 million in year 2. The winger had 19 goals in limited ice time for Pittsburgh last season and was rumored to be not qualified as a restricted free agent because of arbitration concerns.
In other news, defenseman Cory Sarich signed a 5-year, 18 million dollar contract (3.6 per year) with the Calgary Flames. Also, center Eric Perrin signed a 2-year, 1.5 million dollar contract with Atlanta.
Lightning press release on Ouellet:
Damian Crisdotero reports on his blog that Riku Helenius will indeed come to North America this coming season to play for Seattle of the WHL. No mention of a source, but Helenius' move across the pond seems likely now that his Finnish club Ilves has signed veteran netminder Tero Leinonen away from Lulea of the Swedish Elitserien.
(The Suburban) Beaconsfieldâ€™s Alex Killorn became the highest selected Lac St. Louis Tiger in the National Hockey Leagueâ€™s entry draft held last Friday and Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, when the Tampa Bay Lightning chose the 6-foot 161-pound center in the third round, 77th overall.
â€œWe (the family) were watching the draft on the NHL network and when I heard my name being called I couldnâ€™t believe it,â€ Killorn said. â€œI got so excited and then the phone calls started to come. At least I knew it was true and the guys werenâ€™t trying to punk me. Getting selected by Tampa Bay was a real honor. They have such a great organization, I feel really fortunate.â€
For the rest of the story, see The Suburban newspaper online.
Lightning 2006 first round draft pick Riku Helenius was selected by the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds in the first round of the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft today. Helenius, a 6-3 goaltender who missed practically all of last season with Ilves Jr. in Finland because of a shoulder injury, was taken with the 46th overall pick.
â€œWe spoke to Tampa Bay a year ago about adding Helenius to our team but the player was not ready to come at that time,â€ Seattle General Manager Russ Farwell said in a story on the Thunderbirdsâ€™ web site.
â€œThere is a good chance this year he could come over and we felt we would take that chance because this combination would give us the best 1-2 goalie combination in our division.â€
The Tampa Bay Lightning, parent club of the Norfolk Admirals, have re-signed right wing Norm Milley to a one-year contract, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Jay Feaster announced on Tuesday.
Milley, a 6-foot, 195-pound native of Toronto, Ontario, served as team captain for the Springfield Falcons, the former American Hockey League affiliate of the Lightning, last season. The 27-year-old notched 26 goals and added 34 assists for 60 points in 73 games with the Falcons in 2006-07. He was tied for the Springfield lead with ten power play goals and finished second in scoring, goals and assists.
The Lightning traded a 2008 fourth round pick in order to grab Marshall at the end of the fifth round. He's regarded as one of the best skaters in the draft.
From the Patriot-Ledger:
(Is it possible to wait until the zamboni has left the ice before conducting the interview?)
â€œItâ€™s definitely the most exciting thing Iâ€™ve ever gone through,â€ Jung told the newspaper.
Jung is a native of Nanaimo, "The Harbour City," located on the west side of Victoria Island across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver in British Columbia.
The News Bulletin reported Jung was watching TV on Saturday when Tampaâ€™s chief scout, Jake Goertzen, called to tell him the news and offer congratulations.
Remind me next year to order Red Line three weeks before draft day instead of two...
Anyway, looking through Red Line's draft guide there are a lot of positives for the Lightning coming out of this draft. Here's how they had the picks the Lightning took rated and, where given, the short blurb about each:
#30 Dana Tyrell: "Love his speed, smarts, and competitiveness."
#54 Luca Cunti: "It's a team game, Luca. It's not all about you."
#62 Alexander Killorn: "Blazing fast playmaker. Stock rising like gas prices."
#100 Mitch Fadden: "Dynamic scorer should've been taken last year."
#160 Matt Marshall: "Bull in a china shop, but has no hands or finesse."
#207 Torrie Jung
#290 Michael Ward
NR Johan Harju
NR Justin Courtnall