The Tampa Bay Lightning announced that they have signed forward Felix Robert to a two-year entry level contract. Robert is a 22 year-old, left-shooting center that spent the last two years with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on AHL contracts, also spending some time in 2020-21 with the Wheeling Nailers in the ECHL.
Robert will turn 23 years-old later this month and is certainly a bit of an old prospect to be getting an entry-level contract. He came up through the QMJHL playing for the Sherbrooke Phoenix and was never drafted in the NHL Entry Draft. He only played in 45 QMJHL games in his draft year posting seven goals and 23 points. He followed that up with a 46 and 55 point season. As an overage player in 2019-20, Robert scored 36 goals and 92 points in 46 games before the season was ended by the pandemic.
The WBS Penguins signed Robert to an AHL contract for the 2020-21 season. In 10 ECHL games with the Wheeling Nailers, he recorded five goals and six points. With the Baby Pens, he recorded six goals and 13 points in 27 games. He was re-signed for another year, and posted 16 goals and 34 points in 63 games for the Baby Pens last season.
His performance, especially considering his age, isn’t overwhelming in the AHL. However, the Lightning and their scouts must see some potential for him to develop further. Teams typically do not give NHL contract spots to players that they don’t see any potential in as an NHLer. Robert’s small size certainly is something that holds him back, but the Lightning must like something in his game to take the chance of giving him that roster spot.
With Otto Somppi heading to Europe and Charles Hudon signing in Colorado, the Crunch needed to add some scoring depth and Robert should provide that. The Crunch’s coaching staff will have the opportunity to work with him further in developing his skills and helping him find a path to the NHL. It’s certainly a long shot, but I’ll look forward to what he can accomplish with the Crunch and if he can get over the hump and make it to the NHL level for the Lightning.