The Lightning have announced that first-year-pro goaltender Dustin Tokarski has been returned to Norfolk of the AHL. The news should tell fans that Mike Smith is ready to come back from his neck injury to at least assume backup duty.
The Lightning also announced this morning that odd-man-out goaltender Riku Helenius has been sent to the Swedish Elite League to play for Sodertalje SK. This news ha doriginally come out earlier int he week but the team made the move official today.
Both official releases can be found after the jump.
LIGHTNING REASSIGN G DUSTIN TOKARSKI TO NORFOLK OF THE AHL
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned goaltender Dustin Tokarski (toe-CAR-skee) to the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League today, Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced.
Tokarski, 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, was recalled on January 14 and appeared in two games, both in relief. He is in his first professional season after finishing his junior career with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League in 2008-09. He has played in 25 games with the Admirals this season. The rookie has been impressive, posting a 2.68 goals-against average, a .911 save percentage and a 12-13-0 record with Norfolk.
A native of Watson, Saskatchewan, Tokarski played three seasons with Spokane, posting a 77-39-7 record in 124 games with a 2.18 goals-against average. Last season he posted a 34-18-2 record in 54 games with a 1.97 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage. Tokarski led the WHL in GAA, SV%, shutouts and was fifth in wins. He also backstopped the Chiefs to the 2008 Memorial Cup Championship, while being named the most valuable player in the playoffs, the top goaltender in the playoffs and was named to the playoff All-Star Team.Tokarski helped Canada to the Gold Medal at the 2009 World Junior Championships, posting a 4-0 record with a 2.65 GAA and a .906 save percentage. He turned aside 39 of 40 shots in the Gold Medal Game against Sweden as Canada won, 5-1.
The 20-year-old was selected by the Lightning in the fifth round, 122nd overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
LIGHTNING ASSIGN G RIKU HELENIUS TO SODERTALJE SK OF THE SEL
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have assigned goaltender Riku Helenius Sodertalje SK of the Swedish Elite League today, Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced. Helenius has played the first part of the season with the Lightning’s top minor league affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League.
Helenius, 6-foot-3, 211 pounds, has played in 12 games with the Admirals this season, posting a 5-7-0 record with a 2.75 goals-against average and a .896 save percentage. He last played on December 19 against Binghamton, making 18 saves.
A native of Palkane, Finland, Helenius has played in 37 career AHL games, all with Norfolk. He has posted a 14-22-1 record with a .902 save percentage and a 2.73 goal-against average during his AHL career. He has appeared in one NHL game January 30, 2009 against Philadelphia, stopping two shots in relief.
Helenius was selected by Tampa Bay in the first round, 15th overall, of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.