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Helenius Selected by Seattle; Teams Pass on Cunti

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.

“We spoke to Tampa Bay a year ago about adding Helenius to our team but the player was not ready to come at that time,” Seattle General Manager Russ Farwell said in a story on the Thunderbirds’ web site.

“There 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.”

Norm!

(Norfolk Admirals press release)

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.

Matt Marshall Pre-Draft Video

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?)

Jung Reacts to Draft Day

In a Nanaimo (BC) News Bulletin story today, Lightning 2007 seventh round draft pick Torrie Jung gave his reactions to being drafted.

“It’s definitely the most exciting thing I’ve ever gone through,” 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 Tampa’s chief scout, Jake Goertzen, called to tell him the news and offer congratulations.

Red Line's Take on the Lightning's Draft Picks

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

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