Erik Erlendsson covers the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Tampa Tribune.
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Tampa Bay Lightning sign first round draft pick Namestnikov to entry level contract
Posted Mar 13, 2012 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Mar 13, 2012 at 05:16 PM
The official announcement from the team is below, but 2011 first-round draft pick Vladislav Namestnikov was signed to a three-year, entry-level contract on Tuesday. What the contract signing now essentially does is ensure that he remains a member of the organization and he will receive a signing bonus. What it does not mean is that Namestnikov is a lock to begin his pro career next season with the Lightning. Remember, 2009 first-round pick Carter Ashton signed his entry level deal during training camp in 2009 but did not turn pro until the start of the 2011-12 season. So unless he makes a big jump over the summer and into training camp, I would expect that Namestnikov starts next season back playing for London in the Ontario Hockey League.
But hey, that’s what I though about Brett Connolly coming into training camp this season and he made the team, so Namestnikov could always change plans depending on how his summer goes.
Here is the full release from the team:
The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Vladislav Namestnikov to a three-year, entry level contract, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Namestnikov, 19, has played in 60 games with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League this season, recording 22 goals and 70 points to go along with 50 penalty minutes. The 5-foot-11, 171-pound forward ranks eighth in the OHL and leads the Knights in assists with 48, and is third on the team in points. Namestnikov has recorded 14 multi-assist games so far this season with London, including two occasions in which he has recorded four assist contests.
The Voskresensk, Russia native has skated in 128 career games with the Knights over the past two seasons, registering 52 goals and 139 points, to go along with a +29 rating. Namestnikov appeared in six OHL playoff games last year with the Knights, recording one goal and five points.
The Lightning selected Namestnikov in the first round, 27th overall, at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.