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Tampa Bay. (PM)  The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent center Valtteri Filppula (FIHL-poo-luh, VAL-tuhr-ee) to a five-year contract today, vice president and general...

Logo Tampa Bay LightningTampa Bay. (PM)  The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent center Valtteri Filppula (FIHL-poo-luh, VAL-tuhr-ee) to a five-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

 

“We are pleased to sign Valtteri to a five-year contract today,” Yzerman said.  “We feel he is an outstanding, all-around centerman who brings a winning pedigree to our organization. He fills a much-needed position for us at center and his skill, work ethic and character will make him a great addition to our team.  On behalf of the Lightning we’d like to welcome him to the organization.”

 

Filppula, 6-foot, 193 pounds, played in 41 games with the Detroit Red Wings last season, recording nine goals and 17 points.  He ranked fifth among team forwards for assists (8) and points.  Filppula’s 17:46 in average ice time was also fourth among Red Wings forwards.  He won 179 of 323 (55.4 percent) of face-offs last season to lead the team.  Filppula also played in all 14 Stanley Cup Playoff games for Detroit last season, recording two goals and six points.  During the NHL lockout he returned to his native Finland to play for Jokerit of the Finnish Elite League, where he posted six goals and 15 points in 16 games.

 

A native of Vantaa, Finland, Filppula has played in 483 career NHL games, all with the Red Wings, registering 100 goals, 251 points, 15 power-play goals and 12 game-winning goals.  He has averaged 16 minutes or more in average ice time in each of the previous six seasons, including a career-high 18:15 in 2011-12, the NHL ‘s last full season.  That year he also established career highs for games played with 81, goals with 23, assists with 43 and points with 66.  Filppula has excelled in the face-off circle during his time in the NHL, posting a 52.2 career win percentage.

 

Filppula, 29, won his first Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2008.  He has played in the postseason in each of his NHL seasons with the exception of one (2005-06), amassing 105 games played along with 19 goals and 57 points.

 

Detroit’s third-round pick, 95th overall, of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Filppula has represented his native Finland on numerous occasions.  He won the Bronze Medal with Team Finland at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and also played in the 2012 IIHF World Championships.  In 2004, Filppula was named a tournament all-star at the IIHF World Junior Championships.  Sportwetten.org

 

 

Lightning sign Third Overall Pick Jonathan Drouin

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed the third overall selection of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Jonathan Drouin, to a three-year, entry level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.  Drouin will be participating in the Lightning’s annual development camp which kicks off tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum.

 

Drouin, 18, skated in 49 games with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, registering 41 goals and 105 points to go along with 32 penalty minutes. He ranked first on the Mooseheads for goals, assists (64), points and shorthanded goals with four. The Ste-Agathe, Quebec native also led all Moosehead forwards with a plus-48 rating during the regular season. He ranked second in the QMJHL for points, third in assists and ranked tied for seventh for goals. Drouin also skated in 17 playoff games, recording 12 goals and 35 points with 14 penalty minutes. He helped the Mooseheads win the Memorial Cup, recording five assists in the championship game against the Portland Winterhawks.

 

Drouin was named as the Canadian Major Junior Player of the Year and was the QMJHL’s Michel Briere winner as the most valuable player. He was also named the QMJHL First All-Star Team, won the Michael Bossy Trophy as the QMJHL’s top draft prospect and was the QMJHL’s Playoff MVP.

 

The 5-foot-11, 176-pound forward has skated in 82 career QMJHL games, all with Halifax, notching 48 goals and 134 points to go along with a plus-43 rating. Drouin has also played in 34 career playoff games, tallying 21 goals and 61 points to go along with a plus-28 rating.

 

Drouin skated in six games with Team Canada at the 2013 IIHF Junior World U-20 Championships in Ufa, Russia, recording two goals and four points in six games.

 

 

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