Lightning Re-Sign Restricted Free Agent Forward Ryan Craig
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the Norfolk Admirals, have re-signed restricted free agent Ryan Craig to a two-year contract today, owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie announced.
“We are glad Ryan has agreed to come back to the Lightning for two more years,” said Koules and Barrie upon making the announcement. “We like his versatility, strength on the puck and ability in front of the net. Ryan has worked diligently and tirelessly to come back from his knee injury and we know he will fit well on our team. We look forward to seeing him out on the ice at the start of training camp.”
The 26-year-old native of Abbotsford, British Columbia missed 72 games last season with back and knee injuries. He skated in seven games with one goal and two points. Craig averaged 13:03 of ice time per game last season and netted one power play goal. Craig also appeared in two games with the Admirals in November on a conditioning stint, scoring one goal and two assists with two penalty minutes.
Craig tied for the second most goals by a rookie in franchise history with 15 in 2005-06. He has played in 127 NHL games and recorded 30 goals, 57 points, 11 power-play goals and two game-winning goals. He has also skated in 11 playoff games with the Lightning in 2006 and 2007.
A 6-foot-2, 212-pound center, Craig played three seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League during his junior career. In Brandon he amassed 302 games played, 137 goals and 268 points. He also played in 47 playoff games and scored 19 goals with 37 points. Craig was honored as the Canadian Hockey League’s Humanitarian of the Year and served as the captain of the WHL’s Eastern All-Star Team in the Hershey Cup. He also served as the Wheat Kings’ captain for two seasons.
He was drafted by the Lightning in the eighth-round, 255th overall, at the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.