Tampa Bay Lightning sign goaltender Matt Tomkins
The off-season moves continue.
General Manager Julien BriseBois and the Tampa Bay Lightning continue to use their extra off-season time productively as they checked off "Need Second Goaltender in Syracuse" off of their summer to-do list. On Wednesday the team announced that they had signed Matt Tomkins to a two-year, two-way contract.
Tomkins, a 7th Round pick by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2012 draft, has played most recently in the Swedish Hockey League with Farjestad BK. The 28-year-old (who will turn 29 on June 19th) posted a 2.53 GAA and .911 SV% in 32 games last season. In the playoffs with Farjestad he went 3-4 with a 2.68 GAA and .905 SV%.
He has spent the past two seasons in the SHL after parts of four seasons with the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL and Indy Fuel in the ECHL. The Edmonton native posted an .896 SV% and 3.35 SV% in 36 career games with the IceHogs. During his four seasons at THEE Ohio State University he logged 67 games with a 3.03 GAA and .898 SV%.
He has repped Team Canada twice (both in 2021-22) where he was the backstop for the Olympic Team who was backing up former Lightning/Crunch netminder Eddie Pasquale. Tomkins appeared in three games with a 2-1 record, 1.01 GAA, and .963 SV%. At the World Championships he struggled a bit in his lone game, a loss, making 11 saves in 22 minutes of action.
With only Andrei Vasilevskiy and Hugo Alnefelt currently under contract, the need to add some goalies to the mix this summer was a huge organizational need. It's likely that Brian Elliott will retire or seek employment elsewhere while Max Lagace will be a free agent as well. Tomkins will serve as a back-up to Alnefelt, who is still just 21-years-old, in Syracuse. As for Vasy's back-up, that will likely not happen until free agency starts.
Of course, the question on everyone's mind - does he have an official rookie card? The answer is - not a NHL one. According to The Trading Card Database he has three cards available:
2019-20 Gizmo's Sportscards Rockford IceHogs
2022 BY Cards Beijing Olympics (unlicensed)
2022 BY Cards World Championshop (unlicensed)
The official press release from the Lightning is below:
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed goaltender Matt Tomkins to a two-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today.
Tomkins, 6-foot-3, 194 pounds, played in 32 games with Farjestad BK in the Swedish Hockey League this past season, posting a 2.53 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. He also posted a 3-4 postseason record with a .905 save percentage and 2.68 goals-against average.
The Edmonton, Alberta native notably served as the goaltender for Team Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. Tomkins went 2-1 as Canada’s starter and posted a 1.01 goals-against average, a .963 save percentage and one shutout. He ranked third among all goaltenders in the tournament for save percentage and was fourth for GAA.
Tomkins was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the seventh round, 199th overall, of the 2012 NHL Draft. Before going to play in Sweden, he played collegiate hockey at Ohio State before joining the professional ranks with the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL and the Indy Fuel of the ECHL.