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Tampa Bay Lightning signs coveted college player J.T. Brown from Minnesota-Duluth



The Lightning on Wednesday acquired one of the nation’s most-coveted college players when it signed Minnesota-Duluth sophomore forward J.T. Brown to a two-year, two-way contract that runs through the 2012-13 season. The plan is to get him into the lineup Saturday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum against the Jets, GM Steve Yzerman said.

"He’s very talented, very competitive, good skill level, good skater,” Yzerman said. “I’m anxious to see him in there.”

Brown, 21, led UMD this season with 24 goals and in 80 games in two seasons had 40 goals and 84 points.

“Definitely exciting,” he said of signing with Tampa Bay. “It came down to having the right opportunity and being the right fit.”

Brown, the son of former Vikings running back Ted Brown, pleaded guilty this month to giving police a false name and fleeing on foot, both misdemeanors, in association with a summer incident at Duluth, Minn., bar two weeks before his 21st birthday. He has a July sentencing.

Here is the announcement from the team:

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward J.T. Brown to a two-year contract that runs through the 2012-13 season, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

“We are pleased to announce JT’s signing with the Lightning this evening,” said Yzerman. “He has all the top characteristics we look for in a player, including high skill and compete levels. We’re glad he chose to play for the Lightning and we look forward to getting him in the lineup as quickly as possible.”

Brown, 21, played in 39 games with the University of Minnesota-Duluth this season, recording 24 goals and 47 points to go along with 59 penalty minutes. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound forward ranked first on Minnesota-Duluth in goals and third in points. Brown ranked tied for sixth in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) in points. The sophomore was also named to the All-WCHA First Team this season.

“I am excited about this opportunity to come to Tampa Bay and play for the Lightning,” said Brown.  “I see the organization as a great fit for me and although I had a tough decision to make, I definitely feel it was the right one.  I can’t wait to get started.”

The Burnsville, Minnesota native has skated in 81 career games with the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs over the past two seasons, collecting 40 goals and 84 points to go along with 109 penalty minutes. Last season, Brown was a member of the Bulldogs team that captured the 2011 Frozen Four Championship, being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 7:52pm]


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