The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed 2015 4th round draft pick Mathieu Joseph to an entry-level deal.
Joseph is in his fourth season playing right wing for the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He is currently tied for first in the league with 25 goals in just 29 games. In an interview earlier this season, Sea Dogs coach Danny Flynn commented on Joseph’s growth and development as a hockey player.
"He has a very good hockey sense. He's very competitive. He's developed nicely into an offensive player but, for a young player, he plays very well away from the puck. The two most important qualities for players to play in the National Hockey League are a high hockey sense and a high compete level. He has both of those things. In my opinion, for Tampa Bay, that was a steal of a pick."
Joseph’s tremendous effort and breakout year in the QMJHL led to an invitation to join Hockey Canada’s U20 World Junior Championship team. The tournament officially starts on December 26th, but Joseph has played well in the pre-tournament games, earning a spot on the second line alongside fellow Lightning prospect Taylor Raddysh.
The young winger is looking forward to playing for his country, an honor that many players dream about but few get to experience. Best of luck to Joseph at World Juniors. Hopefully he’ll be suiting up for the Lightning very soon.
Additional Notes: AHL eligibility and salary cap implications
- Some people may be wondering if Joseph can join the Syracuse Crunch to help alleviate the pressure caused by all of the injuries. Unfortunately, that is not possible. Because Joseph will not be 20 years old by the end of this calendar year, he is ineligible to leave the QMJHL to play in the American Hockey League.
- The timing of this contract (before the end of the 2016 calendar year) has several advantages for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Here’s the explanation provided by the brilliant minds over at CapFriendly.
@Saima_1226 One of the biggest advantages to teams is a player potentially playing 4 years in the AHL on a 3 year contract.— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) December 24, 2016