The Tampa Bay Lightning added some more depth to their roster today, finalizing a contract with Western Hockey League (WHL) star player Tyler Johnson. From the press release:
Johnson, 5-foot-9, 175 pounds, has appeared in 259 career games with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League during the previous four seasons, amassing 123 goals and 273 points. This season he has established career highs in goals with 48, assists with 58 and points 106 in 64 games. Johnson currently leads the Chiefs in goals, assists, power play goals (15) and shorthanded goals (6) while also ranking third on the squad with a plus-27 ranking. He has also skated in 40 career postseason games, all with Spokane, registering 13 goals and 24 points.
A native of Spokane, Washington, Johnson's goal total is tied for the WHL lead, while he ranks fourth in assists and second in points among all WHL skaters. He also is seventh in power-play goals with 15 and second in power-play assists with 34.
The Lightning have signed Johnson for a three year, entry level contract, making him a nice bargain if he can replicate even some of his success from the WHL with the Lightning. While it's no guarantee that Johnson will be a star player in the NHL - or even a decent one - the cost is low and the reward is potentially high.
This is a good signing by Lightning, and if nothing else, helps improve their team depth while they're dealing with their current rash of injuries.
For more coverage of the Lightning, see our team blog Raw Charge.