The Tampa Bay Lightning have decided to sign star prospect Mikael Granlund to a 3 year entry level contract today. This signing comes one year earlier then when the club is forced to sign the 2010 1st round pick and goes against traditional strategies regarding prospect signings in the nefhl. When Lightning G.M. Lamarche was asked why he decided to sign the young finn one year early he had this to say: " this is a strategy that may pay off or burn us in the end, we are not looking to get maybe 1 discount year out of Granlund on his entry level deal, rather we are looking to get 4 discount years out of his following contract." This theory may in fact work out. If you look at the 3 seasons in which Granlund will be playing with this entry level deal, his ratings should look like this:

1st year of deal: Granlund should have a mid 60's OV as he played in europe last season

2nd year of deal: Granlund should again have a mid 60's OV as he is expected to play one more season in europe

3rd year of deal: May have a mid 60's rating again as he may need 1 year in the AHL to get used to the american game, but will probably have a low 70's OV as we expect him to be more then good enough to crack the wild lineup but it'll be his first nhl season so not expecting a first year breakout

therefore if he does play in the minors we'll be able to sign him to a 4 year deal where he'll be making around 900K where 3 of the 4 years on that contract he'll hopefully have mid to high 70's ratings or if he does play with the Wild then we'll probably be able to sign him for 4 years at around 1.7 to 2.1 mill per year!

The one risk is that in his first year in north america he tears it up and gets something like a 77 OV, he will be expensive to resign and we will have missed out on 1 year of a 77 OV player being paid his entry level deal but that's a risk that we are willing to take at this point!