The Swedish newspaper the Norlandska Socialdemokraten is reporting (link in Swedish) that the Lightning have signaled their intention to sign Swedish sniper Johan Harju at the end of this season. Lulea GM Lars Bergstrom is quoted in the paper as being resigned to the fact that Harju and his teammate, Edmonton prospect Linus Omark, will be headed to North America next season. Harju, who was drafted by the Lightning in the 6th round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, has played much of this season at second line center for Lulea, but can also play left wing. The 22 year old, 6'3" 205 lbs forward is currently tied for 12th in the Elitserien in scoring with 20 goals and 34 points in 44 games. Those 20 goals are tied for 4th best in the league and his 9 power play goals are tied for 3rd best.
Hat tip to Sotnos from the message boards.
Responding to the sudden loss of over half of their defensive corps due to injuries or callups, the Norfolk Admirals have announced the signing of defenseman Mitch Ganzak to a PTO contract. The 6'0" 205 lbs blueliner has spent the balance of this season in the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers, where he has scored 4 goals and 22 points in 29 games. Prior to this season, Ganzak was the recipient of a 2 game tryout with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL, in which he tallied 1 assist, after 4 years spent with Miami of the CCHA.
Tokarski, selected by the Lightning in the 5th round (122nd overall) of the 2008 draft, is currently playing for Team Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championships.
The 19-year-old is midway through his third season with Spokane of the Western Hockey League where he has posted a record of 16-9-2 with four shutouts and a 1.97 goals-against average.
According to a Boston University fan blog, Justin Courtnall of the BCHL's Victoria Grizzlies has pledged his services to NCAA hockey power Boston University. The Terriers are currently ranked No.3 in the latest USCHO men's Division I hockey poll.
Courtnall currently leads the Grizzlies in scoring with 12 goals, 30 assists and 42 points in 37 games.
He joins defenseman Luke Witkowski (Fargo, USHL - Western Michigan Univ.) as North American junior prospects of the Lightning with verbal commitments to NCAA programs.
A verbal commitment is not binding. Commitments can be made official when a player has signed his letter of intent.
(WHL release) The Prince George Cougars are proud to announce and wish to congratulate team captain Dana Tyrell, who has agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League. The Lightning selected Tyrell in the second round, 47th overall, in the 2007 NHL draft.
Prince George Cougars General Manager Dallas Thompson says; "Dana is very deserving for achieving this goal of his. All the effort and hard work he has put into his game and the commitment to the Prince George Cougars has certainly helped Dana achieve this terrific milestone in his life.â€
Tyrell leads the Cougars in scoring in his fourth full WHL season, with 19 goals and 20 assists for 39 points, and is ranked tied for 13th in league scoring. Tyrell leads the Cougars in power-play goals with 7 and short handed tallies with 3. Tyrell will also attend the National Junior Team selection camp in Ottawa, ON, December 11-15, in hopes of wearing Canadaâ€™s colors at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in the nationâ€™s capital, beginning December 26.