More defensive signings; one to really watch
The Lightning added even more depth to its blue line with the re-signing of Mike Egener and the signing of free agent Dan Jancevski. We all know Egener's story. Thought to be close to the NHL when he was drafted in the second round (34th overall) in 2003, Egener has been inconsistent in the minors and fighting to find his game.
More interesting might be Jancevski (pronounced jan-SHEHV-skee), who played 80 games for AHL Hamilton last season, had seven goals, 31 points and was plus-22 as the team won the Calder Cup. In 22 playoff games, the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder was second on the team in scoring with three goals and 14 points.
He will be one to watch as the Lightning fills out its roster during training camp.
“Dan Jancevski is a gritty, strong, veteran physical defenseman and a real leader at the AHL level,” GM Jay Feaster said. “He has a very good shot from the point and he makes a strong first pass out of the zone. We like the physical presence he brings to the game and we especially value his leadership abilities. We attempted to sign him last summer and he went on to win the Calder Cup in Hamilton. He joins a host of players who will have a chance to compete for a spot on our roster in training camp, and he, too, adds to our organizational depth on the blueline. This signing, combined with other blueline signings and acquisitions this week, helps transform our organizational depth on the back-end dramatically and gives our prospects some outstanding mentors at the AHL level.”
Jancevski, 26, is a veteran of 470 American Hockey League games and has recorded 28 goals and 141 points. He served as captain of the Iowa Stars during their inaugural season in 2005-06, and made his NHL debut with the Dallas Stars on February 4, 2006 against St. Louis . Prior to his recall to Dallas Jancevski had played in 257 consecutive AHL games, the longest such streak in the league at the time. He led all Iowa defensemen in scoring that season with 38 points ( 9-29-38 ). He has appeared in 40 career Calder Cup Playoff games, recording four goals and 17 points.
The former member of the London Knights and Sudbury Wolves played in 197 Ontario Hockey League games in his junior career. He made his OHL debut with London in 1998-99 before finishing the final 31 games of the 2000-01 season with the Wolves. During his junior career he scored 17 goals and recorded 81 points.
He was originally drafted by the Stars in the second-round, 66 th overall, at the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.
Egener, 6-4 and 216 pounds, played in 75 games with Springfield of the AHL last season and recorded three assists while leading the team in penalty minutes with 152. He is a veteran of 158 AHL games with five goals, 11 points and 477 penalty minutes. Egener played in 224 WHL games during his junior career, scoring six goals and recording 37 points.
The Lightning selected Egener with their first selection, 34 th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry draft. At the time of the draft he was ranked 40 th overall among North American Skaters by Central Scouting before being selected by Tampa Bay . He was awarded the Hitmen’s Humanitarian of the Year award for two consecutive years in 2002-03 and 2003-04 and played in the 2003 Re/Max Canada-Russia All-Star Challenge.