Tampa Bay put pen to paper with one of their more promising goalie prospects, announcing the signing of Hugo Alnefelt to a three-year, entry-level contract. Financial terms of the deal – which starts next season – were not disclosed.
The 19-year-old was a third-round pick (71st overall) of the Lightning back in 2019 and has certainly boosted his stock since then. Alnefelt has between Sweden’s starting goalie in the last two World Juniors, posting a 2.20 GAA with a .917 SV% over those tournaments while spending most of the last two years in the SHL, Sweden’s top professional league. He was the backup goaltender with HV71 this season and had a .904 SV% in 22 games, a higher save percentage than their starter.
There should be an opportunity for Alnefelt to get more playing time starting next season. Of the five goalies that Tampa Bay has on an NHL contract this season, all but Andrei Vasilevskiy are set to become unrestricted free agents next summer. While no one should expect Alnefelt to step into the backup role right away, he should be in line for a lot of action with AHL Syracuse in 2021-22. The original team release had him playing on a tryout deal with the Crunch to finish the season but the team tweeted later in the day that this will now not be the case.