Tampa Bay Lightning sign Olympian Nick Perbix to one-year deal

The Lightning strengthen their defensive prospect pool with the signing

Once the St. Cloud State hockey team was eliminated from NCAA postseason, the clock started ticking on one of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s more intriguing prospects. Drafted back in the sixth round of the 2017 NHL draft, the Bolts had until June 1st to sign Nick Perbix or he would become a free agent. On Thursday, they took care of that lingering piece of business by signing the 23-year-old to a one-year contract that begins next season. He will join the Syracuse Crunch on an ATO for the rest of this season.

Perbix is a big (6’4”, 200 lbs) right-shooting defenseman who has spent the last four years with St. Cloud State, posting 14 goals and 66 points in 104 career games. In the 2021 Raw Charge Top 25 under 25 we had him ranked right at 25. Geo has been a big supporter of Perbix since he’s been drafted and had this to say:

As far as player style comparable (not ceiling comparable), I’ve always looked at Perbix as being a late-career Braydon Coburn type; a big, smart defenseman that can overcome some deficiencies by using his smarts to be an effective bottom pairing defenseman.

In 2021-22 Perbix had a career-year, recording 6 goals and 25 assists. The highlight of the season would be that he was added to the U.S. Olympic team and put up one assist in four games with Team USA.

He has the high-hockey IQ label that so many Lightning prospects are labeled with and moves the puck quickly for a large individual. He does have some offensive instincts and has played in front of the opponent’s net a few times on the power play in his college career.

For a system that is a little thin on defensive prospects, having Perbix develop into a NHL player, even if he’s on the third pair would be another feather in the cap of the Lightning scouting staff. As a somewhat older prospect (he’ll turn 24 this summer) he should jump into the professional ranks fairly quickly and should be a big part of the Crunch’s new defense next year.

The official press release:


TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Nick Perbix to a one-year, entry-level contract vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today.

Perbix, 23, played in 31 games this season for St. Cloud State, setting career highs for goals (6), assists (25) and scoring (31 pts.). Perbix led all Huskies skaters for assists, and he ranked second among Huskies skaters for scoring and first among defensemen.

In three seasons at St. Cloud State, the 6-foot-4, 200-pound Perbix has skated in 104 career games, notching four power-play goals, 14 goals overall, 66 points and a plus-14 rating. Among his numerous accolades at St. Cloud State, Perbix was named second team All-NCHC and was a finalist for the NCHC Offensive Defenseman of the Year award in 2021, was selected for the NCAA Northeast Region All-Tournament team following the 2021 postseason and was a 2019 All-NCHC rookie team honoree.

Perbix is a sixth-round draft pick of the Lightning in the 2017 NHL Draft. He has signed an AHL amateur tryout contract and will finish the 2021-22 season with the Syracuse Crunch.