TAMPA — Lucas Edmonds was eager to get his professional career started after a breakout season that helped him become the Lightning’s third-round pick earlier this month. Friday, the team announced it has signed the 21-year-old wing to a three-year, two-way, entry-level contract.
The Lightning liked Edmonds so much they sent a fourth- and sixth-round pick to the Kings to take him 86th overall. Edmonds is coming off a season in which he compiled 113 points (34 goals, 79 assists) in 68 games with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League, where he was the highest-scoring right wing.
He was an older player in the OHL after spending his previous five seasons playing junior and professional-level hockey in Sweden, where the Ontario-born Edmonds has dual citizenship. A late-bloomer, he was passed over in three previous drafts before he returned to Canada, playing on a loaded Kingston team with No. 4 overall pick Shane Wright.
The Lightning, who liked Edmonds’ hockey IQ and playmaking skills and saw the anticipated skating improvement at last week’s development camp project him to start his pro career with AHL Syracuse in the fall.
“The NHL is a really good league,” Edmonds said last week. “Not many people are able to make it there. I’m just trying to continue to get better, work on my game, then hopefully next season I’ll be able to start in the AHL and do as well as I can there and then just kind of continue to get better, get faster, get stronger, and then hopefully somewhere down the road I get to play a couple NHL games, and I’ll just go from there.”
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