Tag Archives: Tampa Bay Lightning

Drew Olson(21) Lillihammer

Drew Olson

2nd year defenseman/left wing Drew Olson(21) leaves North American hockey to try his game in Norway’s GET-ligaen, signing a one-year deal with Lillehammer.

He played his rookie season under contract with Syracuse Crunch after being traded to Tampa Bay Lightning organization for future considerations before his first campaign started.

Originally a Columbus Blue Jackets‘ 4th round pick in the 2008 draft (#118 overall), they seemed to cool on him as he played at University Of Minnesota-Duluth despite being part of the 2011 NCAA Championship team.

In 47 AHL games he scored 3 goals and 1 assists with a -10 rating on squad that struggled to put together wins.

The 24-year old skated the blue line for his college career but was switched to a forward spot when he arrived at the pro level.

It looks like he’ll be back on defense when he starts overseas.

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Dana Tyrell(14) Springfield Falcons

Dana Tyrell

5th year left wing Dana Tyrell(14) was recently involved in a mostly minor league player transaction that sent his playing rights to Columbus Blue Jackets‘ organization, where he was reassigned to their minor league affiliate Springfield Falcons.

Originally a Tampa Bay Lightning 2nd round pick in the 2007 draft (#47 overall), he signed a one-way, 2-year extension near the beginning of the final season of his entry level deal.

The not exactly big, generously listed at 5’11” 192 lbs. forward played the remainder of the campaign in the NHL but was in and out of the lineup, skating in only 26 games posting 5 assists.

He did slightly better in the first year of his new contract but seemed to slip on the club’s depth chart in the lockout shortened 2012/2013 and only played 7 big league contests this season.

At almost 25-years old, he is set to become a restricted free agent as the hockey calendar winds down, but he’s also putting up some of his best AHL totals with a career high 13 goals.

In 8 games for the Falcons he’s off to a hot start connecting 4 times with the back of the net and adding a pair of helpers on a Calder Cup Playoff bound squad.

He should be invited to return for another season on a 2-way contract.

See related: 11/26-11

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Tanner Richard(71) Syracuse Crunch

Tanner Richard

Tampa Bay Lightning 3rd round pick in the 2012 draft (#71 overall) Canadian/Swiss center Tanner Richard(71) is off to a decent start in his rookie season with a team that knows they’re under-performing in 2013/2014.

In 57 AHL games with minor league affiliate Syracuse Crunch he only has a couple of markers but a decent 15 assists and plays a gritty tough to play against style, which on the downside often ends him up doing time in the penalty box.

When the 6′ 187 lbs. finds his spots on the ice he is going to add potentially dangerous offensive threat to his game like he did in two years of juniors in the OHL with Guelph Storm. He was a better than point-per-game player before he signed a contract to turn pro a season after he was selected.

He also had four years of elite hockey experience as a youngster in Switzerland, where he grew up as his father Mike Richard was playing hockey for Rapperswil of the NLA.

As a 17-year old he got to play 4 games with his dad’s former team and played world juniors competition for the country.

Currently almost a 21-year old, he is signed to a 3-year entry level deal through 2016.

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Teigan Zahn(33) Utah Grizzlies

Teigan Zahn

Double NHL draft pick defenseman Teigan Zahn(33) was first a Chicago Blackhawks 2008 5th round selection (#132 overall) but went unsigned and back into the pool and later chosen by Tampa Bay Lightning in the 7th round of 2010 (#186 overall) but not tendered an offer. He attended training camps with both teams.

After his overage season serving as captain of WHL Saskatoon Blades in which he posted career bests in games played, assists, points and +39 plus/minus, he decided to go the college route and enrolled at University Of Calgary.

The 6’2″ 221 lbs. blue liner with good size and grit to his game signed a one-year AHL contract with Oklahoma City Barons to start his pro career but was dispatched to affiliate Stockton Thunder, where he stayed for most of his first campaign. He was recalled for a month and appeared in 5 games registering his first point, an assist.

To start his sophomore season he scored a training camp tryout with Anaheim Ducks before he was reassigned to farm club, Norfolk Admirals‘ camp and continued to get passed along landing with Utah Grizzlies.

The 24-year old was again summoned up and got into three more games in the higher league notching yet another assist but was returned a couple of weeks later.

In 42 ECHL games, he has 3 goals and 9 assists putting on pace for career highs in all categories.

He will need to keep connecting and finding his game or he may be looking overseas for his next hockey home.

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Cédric Paquette(17) Syracuse Crunch

Cedric Paquette

Tampa Bay Lightning 4th round pick in the 2012 draft (#101 overall) rookie center Cedric Paquette(17) has to be loving life since being a surprise selection and deciding to turn pro after only two seasons in juniors with Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.

On reassignment to minor league affiliate Syracuse Crunch, he’s being used in every possible game situation: 5-on-5, power plays and penalty kills.

The ice time is definitely paying off as he has 11 goals and 13 assists in 36 games with a +5 rating.

In his pair of campaigns in the QMJHL, he was easily a point-per-game player but also never shies away from the rough stuff as his penalty minutes indicate.

Signed to a three-year entry level deal through the 2016 season, the 20-year old is already paying dividends for the parent club that chose him on a hunch, and his future is looking quite bright.

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Randy Jones(12) Portland Pirates

Randy Jones

Undrafted, 11th year defenseman Randy Jones(12) signed a pto to join Portland Pirates.

So far he’s played in three contests recording no points and has a -2 rating.

He has skated 174 AHL games with 15 goals and 51 assists and made 18 appearances late last season with Oklahoma City Barons in a similar situation and added another 17 playoff match ups with the team.

A former Calder Cup Champion with Philadelphia Phantoms in his second pro season while under contract with parent club Philadelphia Flyers, he played with them for 6 seasons before moving onto a few one-year deals.

The 6’2″ 210 lbs. blue liner is a veteran of 365 NHL games with 105 points to his credit.

At 32-years old it’s a bit of a wonder if he’ll be able to secure a spc or will be heading elsewhere.

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Bruno Gervais(37) Adirondack Phantoms

Bruno Gervais

It’s been 7 seasons since 10th year, veteran defenseman Bruno Gervais(37) has skated in a game in the minor leagues but finds himself reassigned to Adirondack Phantoms under a one-way contract with Philadelphia Flyers through the end of 2013/2014.

In 10 AHL games he has a pair of goals and three assists with a +1 rating and looks to be highly affective moving the puck and playing smart with the team.

He has 134 other games, all with Bridgeport Sound Tigers played in the A scoring 76 overall points with a +4 plus/minus.

The 6’1″ 197 lbs. blue liner has made 419 NHL appearances, 6 seasons with New York Islanders, the team that drafted him in 6th round of the 2003 draft (#182 overall) but also 1-year runs with Tampa Bay Lightning and in 2012/2013 with the Flyers.

16 goals and 71 assists isn’t exactly tons of offensive upside but his -82 rating is kind of unreal, although in some circumstances the teams he was suiting up for had GAA situations.

We assume big questions remained to be answered as to where he will sign to play next year but we’re sure it will be something pretty darn good for this well-proven d-man.

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Alex Hutchings(11) Gwinnett Gladiators

Alex Hutchings1

4th year left wing Alex Hutchings(11) will put on the skates for Gwinnett Gladiators in 2013/2014.

Originally a Tampa Bay Lightning 4th round pick in 2009 (#93 overall), he was signed to a 3-year entry level deal but spent most of his playing time in the ECHL with affiliate Florida Everblades than he did in the AHL with Syracuse Crunch or Norfolk Admirals.

In the last two campaigns in the league, the 5’10” 178 lbs. forward recorded almost a point-per-game with 26 goals and 32 assists in 63 games.

He set similar marks in four seasons of junior hockey in the OHL with Barrie Colts, where he exploded for 111 goals and 97 assists.

At only 22-years old, he’ll likely continue to occupy the score sheet in the lower league and will likely receive a call-up or two but will have to contribute more to stay put.

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Brendan Mikkelson(26) Pittsburgh Penguins

8th year defenseman Brendan Mikkelson(26) signs with his 4th NHL team for the 2013/2014 season, inking a one-year two-way deal with Pittsburgh Penguins that will likely see him added as a veteran presence with their minor league affiliate Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins to help with the squad of younger players in the system.

He’s skated in 131 NHL games scoring just 1 goal and 9 assists.

In 196 AHL games with 5 different teams those numbers tick upwards slightly to 18 goals and 48 assists but the large 6’3″ 210 lbs. d-man has never been noted for his offense production.

Almost ironically though he did strike for 4 goals and 3 assists in 17 contests for Västerås in Allsvenskan, the second tier Swedish hockey league during the lockout last season.

The blue liner only just turned 26-years old.

He was a part of the Syracuse Crunch team that went to the 2013 Calder Cup Finals but still seems to have untapped potential that no club has been able to locate.

Originally an Anaheim Ducks‘ 2nd round pick in the 2005 draft (#31 overall), if it doesn’t work out he would likely have a good ride playing the remainder of his pro career overseas.

Brendan Mikkelson

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Andrej Sustr(2) Syracuse Crunch

6’8″ 225 lbs. Czech Republic-born, undrafted defensive tower Andrej Sustr(2) signed a two-year entry level deal with Tampa Bay Lightning that included the remainder of 2012/2013 after deciding to turn pro at the conclusion of his third season of college hockey at University Of Nebraska-Omaha.

He appeared in a pair of NHL games without registering a point while skating an average of 10 minutes in each contest and had a couple of shots of goal and a +1 rating before being reassigned to their AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch to finish off the regular season.

In 8 games, he scored his first 2 pro goals and added an assist.

The 22-year old has skated in all 17 Calder Cup Playoff games with the team, adding another goal and 5 assists to his totals while going a rock steady +9 plus/minus and showing a willingness to fire pucks on the net and mix it up when the situation calls for it.

With a bit more grit he will easily develop into a feared blue liner much like another extremely large, former countryman. Very possibly this could be his only stop in the minors.

Andrej Sustr

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