Lightning Sign Another Defenseman; Re-Sign Egener

Lightning press release:

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Dan Jancevski to a one-year, two-way contract and have re-signed defenseman Mike Egener to a one-year, two-way contract, Executive Vice President and General Manager Jay Feaster announced.

Jancevski, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound native of Windsor, Ontario, played in all 80 games for the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2006-07 and helped them to the 2007 Calder Cup championship. He recorded seven goals (five power-play), 31 points, and a plus-22 rating during the regular season. He ranked first among defensemen and second on the team in plus/minus rating. He played in 22 games for the Bulldogs during their championship playoff run, ranking second on the team in scoring with three goals and 14 points. He also scored twice on the power play.

Egener, 6-4 and 216 pounds, played in 75 games with Springfield of the AHL last season and recorded three assists while leading the team in penalty minutes with 152. He is a veteran of 158 AHL games with five goals, 11 points and 477 penalty minutes. Egener played in 224 WHL games during his junior career, scoring six goals and recording 37 points.

“Dan Jancevski is a gritty, strong, veteran physical defenseman and a real leader at the AHL level,” Feaster said. “He has a very good shot from the point and he makes a strong first pass out of the zone. We like the physical presence he brings to the game and we especially value his leadership abilities. We attempted to sign him last summer and he went on to win the Calder Cup in Hamilton. He joins a host of players who will have a chance to compete for a spot on our roster in training camp, and he, too, adds to our organizational depth on the blueline. This signing, combined with other blueline signings and acquisitions this week, helps transform our organizational depth on the back-end dramatically and gives our prospects some outstanding mentors at the AHL level.”

Jancevski, 26, is a veteran of 470 American Hockey League games and has recorded 28 goals and 141 points. He served as captain of the Iowa Stars during their inaugural season in 2005-06, and made his NHL debut with the Dallas Stars on February 4, 2006 against St. Louis. Prior to his recall to Dallas Jancevski had played in 257 consecutive AHL games, the longest such streak in the league at the time. He led all Iowa defensemen in scoring that season with 38 points (9-29-38). He has appeared in 40 career Calder Cup Playoff games, recording four goals and 17 points.

The former member of the London Knights and Sudbury Wolves played in 197 Ontario Hockey League games in his junior career. He made his OHL debut with London in 1998-99 before finishing the final 31 games of the 2000-01 season with the Wolves. During his junior career he scored 17 goals and recorded 81 points.

He was originally drafted by the Dallas Stars in the second-round, 66th overall, at the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.

The Lightning selected Egener with their first selection, 34th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry draft. At the time of the draft he was ranked 40th overall among North American Skaters by Central Scouting before being selected by Tampa Bay. He was awarded the Hitmen’s Humanitarian of the Year award for two consecutive years in 2002-03 and 2003-04 and played in the 2003 Re/Max Canada-Russia All-Star Challenge.

BP Notes: The Lightning's 50-man depth chart, assuming all RFAs with the exception of Evgeni Artyukhin sign, now stands unofficially at 47. Maine defenseman Mike Lundin is in contract negotiations and the team is taking a wait-and-see approach with Dane Crowley until after Traverse City. Considering the Lightning's new-found depth on the backline, Crowley being signed is highly unlikely. He can still return to Everett of the WHL as an overager and the Bolts retain his rights. It's now also very unlikely the Lightning will sign a Traverse City free agent such as Dean Ouellet, though they could coordinate an AHL contract for players such as Ouellet.

More possible signings include 2007 draft choice and Swedish overager Johan Harju and/or a goaltender for either Norfolk or Mississippi. Much of that depends on where Karri Ramo winds up after training camp.

Feaster typically leaves one or two spots open on the 50-man roster for an emergency signing. The current situation, barring a trade, all but eliminates the dwindling chances of Doug Janik, Nolan Pratt, or Artyukhin returning to Tampa.