The Tampa Bay Lightning have locked up a big part of their AHL team, signing Carter Verhaeghe to a one-year, two-way contract. Verhaeghe was second on the Syracuse Crunch last season with 48 points in just 58 games.
Originally selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third round of the 2013 draft, he was eventually shipped to the New York Islanders along with several other struggling prospects in exchange for Michael Grabner. After a couple of seasons bouncing between the ECHL and AHL, he was acquired by the Lightning in exchange for Kristers Gudlevskis last summer and found a home in Syracuse. Despite all the movement already in his career, Verhaeghe is still only 22 and could still have a future in the NHL if things break right.
Obviously the Lightning organization is a tough one to crack given their depth at forward, but after a solid junior career and now good transition to AHL scoring threat there could be at least a part-time role in his future. Verhaeghe has always been complimented on his work ethic and leadership abilities, meaning even if there isn’t a place for him in the NHL there will likely be a job waiting long-term in the minor leagues.