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Tampa Bay Lightning sign Gabriel Fortier to entry level contract

The first player of the Lightning’s 2018 draft class has signed an ELC.

2018 NHL Draft - Portraits Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning today announced that they have signed forward Gabriel Fortier to a three-year entry level contract. A left winger from LaSalle, Quebec, Fortier has put up 14 goals and 42 points through 34 games in the QMJHL for the Baie-Comeau Drakkar this year. He was the Lightning’s 59th overall pick in the second round this past summer. He was also the Lightning’s first draft pick of the class after they had traded their first round pick to the New York Rangers in the Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller trade at the deadline.

Fortier is a little bit on the small size at 5’10” and 170 pounds. But the Lightning certainly have shown they are willing to gamble on smaller players with skill, which Fortier has. Typically for a CHL-based forward, you want to see them producing at least a point per game after they’ve been drafted. Doing so is generally a good sign that they will have the skill level to step up to the next level and continue to produce.

Fortier was unable to crack the Team Canada line up for the World Junior Championship. However, he’ll be back in the QMJHL next season and will have another opportunity to make the team then.