Lightning Sign Szczechura

The Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the Norfolk Admirals, have announced the signing of forward Paul Szczechura (pronounced sha-HER-a) to a two-year contract, Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Jay Feaster announced today.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound native of Belleville, Ontario scored 14 goals in 24 games with the Admirals last season after netting two in 29 games with the Iowa Stars to start the season. He was acquired from Iowa on January 15 in exchange for future considerations and netted points in his first ten games as an Admiral. He was tied for third on the Admirals in goals with 16 and was seventh in points with 31. He led all Norfolk rookies in scoring and was tied for the team lead with three game-winning goals.

Szczechura, 22, made his professional debut following the completion of his collegiate career in 2006-07, signing an Amateur Tryout Contract with Iowa. In 67 career AHL games, he has 19 goals and 19 assists with 50 penalty minutes. He also appeared in 10 Calder Cup Playoff games in 2007, tallying three goals and an assist with eight penalty minutes.

Szczechura appeared in 153 career games with the Western Michigan University Broncos, recording 44 goals and 86 assists with 107 penalty minutes. In his senior year, Szczechura finished first on the Broncos in assists (26), tied for second in goals (19) and was second in points (45). He finished seventh in the CCHA in overall points. He was a two-time recipient of WMU’s Scholar Athlete Award.

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Awesome

One of the things that bothered me a little last year is the way the organization let David Spina go after spending so much time developing him into an AHL contributor, so it's good to see the locked up Szczechura early on in the process this offseason. Great news.

Great Signing

As an ADs fan, I am happy beyond belief they resigned him. Chewy really blossomed here with us. His number would have been better but he was out about 3 weeks with a groin problem. But he came back at the end of the season and picked up where he left off. He was the center on a line with Lessard and Smolenak that was our best line until Chewy's injury and Lessard's callup. I credit much of Smolenak's improved play to him playing with Chewy.

Glad they got this loose end tied up early.

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