It's been announced that the Tampa Bay Lightning have made two moves today: they have re-signed forward Jonathan Marchessault and inked forward Brian Hart to a standard entry-level contract. From the Bolts' official release:
TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Jonathan Marchessault to a one-year, two-way contract for the 2015-16 season, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. Additionally, the team signed forward Brian Hart to a three-year, two-way NHL contract.
Marchessault, 24, played in two Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Lightning this past postseason. He also appeared in two games with the Bolts during the 2014-15 regular season, recording one goal. Marchessault scored his first career NHL goal on April 11, 2015 in the Lightning's regular season finale against the Boston Bruins. The Cap-Rouge, Quebec native also played in 68 AHL games with the Syracuse Crunch last season, ranking sixth in the league for assists with 43.
Hart, 21, skated in 37 games with the Harvard Crimson during the 2014-15 season, recording seven goals and 17 points. The Cumberland, Maine native ranked sixth on the Crimson for goals and tied for seventh for points. Hart has skated in 98 career games with Harvard over three seasons, recording 18 goals and 50 points.
Marchessault is waiver-eligible this season, which means that if he's squeezed out of the Lightning's roster come training camp, another NHL team can nab him when the Bolts try to send him down to Syracuse. This could be problematic for a young Crunch roster (as it stands right now) that desperately lacked skilled depth last season. However, Marchessault may just stick with the Lightning if he can continue to prove that he's worthy of NHL minutes.
Hart has obviously decided to forgo his senior year of college and make the jump to professional hockey. He'll be expected to start right in with the Crunch, who got swept in the first round of the AHL playoffs this past season after not making them at all the season before. Hart isn't exactly high on the organizational depth chart at the moment - he wasn't even a "near miss" in Raw Charge's Top 25 Under 25 last summer - but obviously the Lightning's brass feels he's ready to make an impact with Syracuse.