8:15pm: CapFriendly reports that the Red Wings have signed Erne to a one-year, one-way contract worth $1.05MM. The young forward will still be a restricted free agent at the end of the deal and will once again have arbitration rights.
1:02pm: The Detroit Red Wings have added to their forward group, acquiring Adam Erne from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a 2020 fourth-round pick. Erne is currently a restricted free agent who chose not to file for arbitration.
The 24-year old forward finally broke into the NHL on a full-time basis in 2018-19, playing 65 games for the Lightning and racking up 20 points. That production actually included three game-winning goals and he even saw a bit of time on the powerplay despite averaging just 10:33 of ice time. Originally selected in the second round (33th overall) of the 2013 draft, the physical forward will now follow former Lightning GM Steve Yzerman to the Red Wings.
For Detroit, this gives the team another young player to insert into a lineup that is still likely a few years away from really contending. He’ll fit right into their core age group with Dylan Larkin (23), Tyler Bertuzzi (24), Anthony Mantha (24) and Andreas Athanasiou (25). There also is likely a bigger opportunity for Erne to see some time in the top-nine, a role that was much tougher to achieve in Tampa Bay. In 172 career AHL games, Erne has recorded 98 points and was a good offensive option in junior.
Tampa Bay meanwhile will open up some extra cap room by not signing the restricted free agent and have plenty of depth to fill his role in the NHL. Young players like Carter Verhaeghe, Mitchell Stephens and Alexander Volkov will get a chance to compete for his roster spot and get into some NHL action. The Lightning need all the room they can get in order to sign Brayden Point and will take advantage of their bottom-six depth.
Still, it’s a nice little trade for the Red Wings who already have five picks in the first three rounds of the 2020 draft. Getting a legitimate NHL player for a fourth-round pick is a trade off Yzerman will likely make every time at this point in their rebuild.