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The 6’1” left wing played 65 games from the Lightning last season, finishing with 7 goals and 13 assists.
Here are a few excerpts:
Erne’s ceiling has pretty much always pegged him as a third liner in the NHL, a power forward who will use his body to create space on the ice. When he’s healthy and looking comfortable, he can absolutely serve in that capacity. In his breakdown of why Erne got the end of season grade that he did , Alan explained that Erne did exactly what was expected of him right up until the injury that took him out for the remainder of the season and the playoffs
Erne scored like a low end first liner in both goals and primary points in the AHL last season. The rest of his metrics including shots are hovering in the realm of a second liner. Those are fine numbers for an AHL player but they don’t provide a particularly strong signal for future NHL success. Typically, players who are going to score in the NHL will score at a much higher rate in the AHL.
But scoring isn’t the strength of Erne’s game and the Lightning won’t be looking for much of that from him in Tampa. Instead, they’ll want him to be a reliable option in the bottom six. He’s played 49 NHL games so far and showed that he is capable of that.
At a glance, it looks like he could be a 3rd line power forward. Considering the chances of the average 4th round draft pick developing into a 3rd line NHL forward, it seems like a reasonable chance to take.
The obvious question will be how this affects the chances for some of Detroit’s younger forwards to start the season in the NHL.
It should also be noted that he does not currently have a contract. His last contract was an 800k, 1-way deal that expired with him as an RFA.
And of course, it’s obvious who his linemate needs to be: