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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.

Cunti on College, the CHL, and Possibly Turning Pro (Updated)

In a USCHO feature yesterday, Lightning third round pick Luca Cunti gave his thoughts on where in North America he could possibly be playing next year.

As of right now, most signs point to college.

"I need some education," Cunti told USCHO. "I am talking to St. Cloud and Clarkson and a few others, but these two are now the most important. I just want to have some school, so I am thinking of school now."

Unless, of course, he's offered a pro deal.

Cunti said he'd know within two weeks which way he'll go, because "It depends on what [Tampa Bay] will offer me."

In and Out

Erik Erlendsson blogs on who the Lightning will and won't qualify before July 1st according to Jay Feaster. Note: this isn't a complete list.

IN: Paul Ranger, Ryan Craig, Karl Stewart, Mike Egener, Mitch Fritz

OUT: Doug Janik, Brady Greco, John Toffey, Morgan Cey, Adam Henrich

Analysis on the flip.

Lightning 2007 NHL Entry Draft Complete

Lightning 2007 NHL Entry Draft Picks

First Round
NONE

Second Round
#47 Overall
C/RW Dana Tyrell, 5'10" 185 lbs, Prince George (WHL)

Third Round
#75 Overall
LW Luca Cunti, 6'0" 185 lbs, GCK (SUI NLB)

#77 Overall
C Alexander Killorn, 6'0" 161 lbs, Deerfield (USHS)

Fourth Round
#107 Overall
C Mitch Fadden, 6'0" 174 lbs, Lethbridge (WHL)

Fifth Round
#150 Overall*
C/RW Matt Marshall, 6'1" 175 lbs, Nobles (USHS)

Sixth Round
#167 Overall
LW/C Johan Harju, 6'3" 205 lbs, Lulea (SWE)

Seventh Round
#183 Overall*
G Torrie Jung, 6'1" 170 lbs, Kelowna (WHL)

#197 Overall
D Michael Ward, 6'2" 180 lbs, Lewiston (QMJHL)

#210 Overall*
LW Justin Courtnall, 6'3" 185 lbs, Burnaby (BCHL)

*=Lightning trade Dallas' 4th round pick (acquired in the Darryl Sydor trade) to Ottawa in exchange for picks #150, #183 and #210.

For Head Scout Jake Goertzen's comments on each pick, see the Tampa Tribune review.

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