Today, the New York Islanders completed a transaction with the Tampa Bay Lightning involving the acquisition of goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis for center Carter Verhaeghge. They have also signed defenseman Seth Helgeson and Kane Lafranchise to one year, two way contracts, as well as center Scott Eansor to a one year AHL contract.
Gudlevskis, 24, is a Latvian-born goaltender who has spent his entire North American career in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. He has spent most of his career with the Syracuse Crunch, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Lightning. In 158 career AHL appearances, he is 74-57-20 with a 2.74 goals against average and a .920 save percentage, and in three NHL games, he is 1-0-1 with a 1.00 goals against average and a .972 save percentage. He is well known for the fight against Bridgeport Sound Tigers goalie Stephon Williams last season. Expect him to be the Sound Tigers starting goalie next year.
Helgeson, 26, has spent his entire career in the New Jersey Devils organization. Even though he is supposed to be a depth defenseman, he still isn’t the best point producer. In 217 games with the Albany Devils, he has seven goals and 39 points, and in 40 NHL games, he has one goal and four points.
Lafranchise, 29, is a career roamer and has spent the last two seasons playing for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He has six goals and 36 points in 100 games. If he plays this season in the NHL, he would be making his NHL debut.
Eansor, 21, is a center that has spent the last four seasons playing for the Seattle Thunderbirds, the same team as current Islanders center Mathew Barzal. He signed an AHL contract with the Sound Tigers. He has had a pretty good stretch in Seattle before coming over to the Sound Tigers next season putting up 47 goals and 129 points in 219 games.
Welcome to the four newest Islanders and hopefully there is more to come!