The Tampa Bay Lightning have agreed to terms with defenseman Nikita Nesterov on a three-year, entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Nesterov, 6-foot, 183 pounds, played in 35 games with Chelyabinsk Traktor of the KHL this season, recording 14 penalty minutes while averaging 12:21 in average ice time. He also appeared in 19 playoff games, recording four assists as Traktor lost to Dynamo Moscow in the Continental Cup Finals. Nesterov has played in 45 career KHL games, all with Traktor, recording one assist.
A native of Chelyabinsk, Russia, Nesterov has represented his country in each of the previous two seasons. He played for Russia at the 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championships, recording two goals and four points in seven games. Nesterov then played in last year’s IIHF World Junior Championships, skating in seven games and registering two goals and five points.
Nesterov, 20, was selected by Tampa Bay in the fifth round, 158th overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He participated in the 2012 Lightning Development Camp at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum. Nesterov’s team, also made up of Vladislav Namestnikov, Slater Koekkoek and Cedric Paquette, took home the annual 3-on-3 tournament championship.
Nesterov is an undersized puck mover who plays a strong positional game. He has a high hockey IQ, which helped keep him in the KHL this year. In fact, Nesterov was used at both forward and a defense for Chelyabinsk late in the year and in the playoffs.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Mathieu Roy (WAH) to a NHL contract for the remaining games of the 2012-13 season today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Roy, 6-foot-2, 214 pounds, played in 51 games with the Hamburg Freezers of the German Elite League this season, recording eight goals and 26 points. He led all Freezers defensemen for goals and was tied for the lead for points. Roy also had a plus-10 rating. He also played in six playoff games, recording five assists, tied for the most on the team during the postseason.
A native of St. Georges, Quebec, Roy has played in 65 career NHL games with the Lightning, Columbus Blue Jackets and Edmonton Oilers. He has amassed two career goals and 13 points. Roy played in four games with Tampa Bay during the 2010-11 season, also playing in 45 games with the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL under current Lightning head coach Jon Cooper. Roy made his NHL debut with Edmonton during the 2005-06 season.
Roy was selected by Edmonton in the seventh round, 215th overall, of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed goaltender Ben Bishop to a two-year contract extension today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Bishop, 6-foot-7, 214 pounds, has played in six games with the Lightning after being acquired from the Ottawa Senators at the April 3 trade deadline. He has posted a 2-3-0 record with a .916 save percentage and a 3.21 goals-against average. Bishop made his Bolts debut on April 4 at Carolina, stopping all 45 shots he faced for a shutout. He was the second goalie in franchise history to post a shutout in his Lightning debut (Dwayne Roloson, January 4, 2011) and tied the franchise record for most saves in a shutout (Daren Puppa, November 27, 1995). He has played in a total of 19 games this season with Tampa Bay and Ottawa, recording a 10-8-0 record with a .920 save percentage, 2.68 goals-against average and two shutouts.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have agreed to terms with forward B.J. Crombeen on a two-year contract extension, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
“We are pleased to have B.J. with the Lightning organization for another two years,” Yzerman said. “He has proven to be a hard-nosed right winger and reliable penalty killer, as well as a very popular teammate of outstanding character.”
Crombeen, 27, has skated in 30 games with the Lightning this season, recording a goal and seven points to go along with 86 penalty minutes and a plus-six rating. He ranks first on the Lightning and fifth in the National Hockey League in penalty minutes. The 6-foot-2, 209-pound forward scored his first goal in a Lightning uniform on March 5 against the Devils in New Jersey.
“I am very thankful to the organization for giving me the opportunity to re-sign for two more years," Crombeen said. "I am very excited to move forward with the group we have and chase a spot in the playoffs."
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Luke Witkowski to a two-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Witkowski, 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, appeared in 38 games as a captain with the Western Michigan University Broncos in 2012-13, recording two goals and 10 points to go along with 46 penalty minutes while being named Second-Team All-CCHA. He led the Broncos with 53 blocked shots and ranked second for penalty minutes. Witkowski also added two power-play tallies.
A native of Holland, Michigan, Witkowski played in 152 games during his four-year career at Western Michigan. He accumulated seven goals and 38 points with 235 penalty minutes. He won the 2010-11 Bill Saunders Plus/Minus Award for finishing with the Broncos’ best plus/minus rating at plus-13.
Prior to attending Western Michigan, Wikowski played for the Fargo Force and the Ohio Junior Blue Jackets of the USHL. He amassed nine goals and 26 assists in two USHL seasons. Witkowski was named to the 2009 USHL All-Star Team.
Witkowski was drafted by the Lightning in the sixth round, 160th overall, of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Since being drafted he has attended four Lightning Development Camps.