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Lightning Lock Up Future Netminder; Vasilevskiy Signs 3 Year Extension

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to a three-year contract extension worth $3.5-million per season, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Vasilevskiy, 21, appeared in 24 games with the Lightning last season, posting a record of 11-10-0 to go along with a 2.76 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. The Tyumen, Russia native also posted one shutout in his second season with the Lightning. Vasilevskiy played in eight Stanley Cup playoff games in 2016, registering a record of 3-4 to go along with a 2.76 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. He appeared in all seven of the Lightning’s Eastern Conference Final games against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Hedman Joins Stamkos; Signs 8 Year Extension with Tampa

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Victor Hedman to an eight-year contract extension worth $7.875-milion per season, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Hedman, 25, played in 78 games with the Lightning last season, collecting 10 goals and 47 points to go along with a plus-21 rating and 46 penalty minutes. He led all Lightning defensemen for goals, assists (37), points and plus/minus. Hedman led all Lightning skaters for plus/minus, average time on ice (23:03), takeaways (48) and blocked shots (132). His plus-21 rating was a new career high.

The Ornskoldsvik, Sweden native has skated in 470 career NHL games, all with the Lightning over the past seven seasons, registering 49 goals and 229 points to go along with a plus-30 rating and 384 penalty minutes. He’s led all Tampa Bay defensemen for goals in each of his past three seasons and has finished in the top two among Bolt blueliners for scoring in all seven seasons with the club.

“We are very pleased to announce the signing of Victor Hedman to an eight-year contract extension. Victor has matured into one of the top defensemen in the NHL and coming off the recent re-signing of our captain, Steven Stamkos, we've secured another extremely important member of our team,” Yzerman said upon making the announcement. “I'm very appreciative of both Victor and Peter Wallen's efforts to reach an agreement with us at this time.”

Stamkos Signs 8 Year Extension With Lightning

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed captain Steven Stamkos to an eight-year contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Stamkos, 26, played in 77 games with the Lightning last season, recording 36 goals and 64 points to go along with 38 penalty minutes. He ranked first on the Bolts for goals and was second for points. Stamkos also ranked tied for seventh in the NHL for goals and was tied for fourth for power-play goals with 14. He led the team for shots on goal with 216 and led all Lightning forwards for average time on ice (19:45).

“We are very appreciative of the effort and commitment that Steven and his representatives have exhibited in getting a deal done,” Yzerman said upon making the announcement today. “We are excited to have him as a cornerstone part of the team for the next eight years as we continue in the franchise’s ultimate pursuit of winning another Stanley Cup.”

The 6-foot, 192-pound forward has skated in 49 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, recording 15 goals and 35 points to go along with 32 penalty minutes. Stamkos skated in his first game of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins after recovering from blood clot surgery. He ranks fourth all-time on the Lightning’s franchise playoff points list.

“I am excited to move forward with the Lightning today for the next eight years,” said Stamkos. “It’s not often that a player gets the chance to spend his career in one organization and I am hopeful that this agreement sets me on that path with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Most importantly, I look forward to working with my teammates, coaches and our management in our goal of winning a Stanley Cup.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 70

This week’s “Ruslan Fedotenko Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast includes the following topics:

· The No. 70
· Re-signings and RFA watch
· Complete draft review with prospect descriptions from Al Murray
· Organizational depth chart worry
· Stamkos to …

Bolts Extend Two Key Organizational Depth Players

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Tye McGinn and defenseman Matt Taormina to one-year, two-way contracts, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Bolts Announce Development Camp Roster and Schedule

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning announced the schedule and roster for the team’s annual Development Camp, to be held from June 28 through July 2 at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum. The roster currently consists of a total of 33 players: 21 forwards, eight defensemen and four goaltenders. The camp is free and open to the public.

The camp will feature some of the Lightning’s top prospects competing in on- and off-ice workouts, skating drills and will culminate with the annual 3-on-3 tournament on Friday and Saturday.

In attendance will be nine of the Lightning’s 10 draft picks from this past weekend’s NHL Draft in Buffalo, New York, including first-round pick Brett Howden, as well as second-round selections Libor Hajek, Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh. They join a roster which also includes highly-touted prospects Adam Erne (2nd Round, 2013), Brayden Point (3rd Round, 2014), Mitchell Stephens (2nd Round, 2015), Dominik Masin (2nd Round, 2014) and more.

Lightning Qualify 7 Pending RFAs; Release F David Broll

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have issued qualifying offers to seven players today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Players receiving qualifying offers were forwards Yanni Gourde, Alex Killorn, Nikita Kucherov, Tye McGinn, Vladislav Namestnikov, defenseman Nikita Nesterov, and goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis.

The deadline for NHL clubs to issue offers is today. By issuing qualifying offers to the aforementioned players, the Lightning are given the right of the first refusal or draft choice compensation should the player sign an offer sheet with another NHL club.

Forward David Broll was not issued a qualifying offer and will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2016.

BP Commentary (Chad): Really no huge surprises here. McGinn is a nice depth forward who will continue to help Syracuse. Gourde was not part of the Black Aces last year despite being a call-up earlier in the season, but he was hurt. He's also nice depth, a year removed from leading the Crunch in goals. Nesterov was a no-brainer though he's been passed by Slater Koekkoek, but again, depth. Broll's exit isn't surprising. Boko Imama could take his spot as the Crunch's pugilist, though he doesn't have a contract. Boko can go back to Saint John as an overager, or he could be signed to an AHL deal and have his rights retained, and therefore wouldn't count against the organization's 50-man roster. The guess here is Tampa Bay is in a wait-and-see mode over the summer.

Lightning 2016 Draft Review

The 2016 NHL Entry Draft is over, and thanks to ESPN’s football draft coverage, everyone expects an immediate grade. Well, as stated last year, we don’t do that. At least not yet; check back in five years.

We’ll rate it this way: Going into the draft we laid out the following player types on a need/want/wish list. Need doesn’t mean Tampa Bay Lightning NHL need, because no one they were going to pick at 27 or beyond was going to help this year or next (or the next?) anyway. Need covers an organizational need as it pertains to variety and depth. We can also look at perceived value per round, but you can usually stop after the fourth round on that because anything after the fourth round is a flier anyway and the probability of that player filling a need in the future organizational picture is possible, but low.

So, looking at the Lightning's 2016 draft, let’s compare who was taken with our wish list.

Fourth Round, 118th Overall, C Ross Colton

Name: Ross Colton
Position: Center
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Catches: Left
Birthdate: 11 SEP 96
Club: University of Vermont (HEAST)

Cedar Rapids (USHL), 55 GP, 35-31-66, 79 PIM; Playoffs: 5 GP, 1-0-1, 0 PIM

Scouting Comments:
"A left wing/center who played in the USHL and is going to Vermont. Good size, 5-11 to 6-feet, 195/190 pounds, and a good skill level. Skates well and a good, solid, all-around 2-way player with offensive ability" ... Colton [and Lohin] are guys you get now so you aren't bidding for them in three years as NCAA free agents. -- Lightning Director of Amateur Scouting Al Murray.

Third Round, 88th Overall, G Connor Ingram

Name: Connor Ingram
Position: Goaltender
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 194 lbs.
Catches: Left
Birthdate: 31 MAR 98
Club: Kamloops (WHL)

Kamloops (WHL), 61 GP, 2.61 GAA, 0.922 SV%; Playoffs: 7 GP, 2.12 GAA, 0.938 SV%

Scouting Comments:
"He was one of the top-3 goalies on our list. We had him ranked very high. He's a player that our goalie coach Dave Alexander from Syracuse went to work with him a couple weeks ago at Hockey Canada's goalie camp, he's one of the goalies invited to Canada's World Junior Team - one of four goalkeepers. Had a tremendous season in Kamloops, gave them a chance to win every night and Dave was very complimentary coming out of the goalie camp about Ingram, and confirmed a lot of things that we've seen in him." -- Lightning Director of Amateur Scouting Al Murray

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