College free agent Odeen Tufto signs an entry level contract for the 2021-22 season with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The forward played for Quinnipiac University during the 2020-21 men’s college hockey season.
We have signed college free agent Odeen Tufto to an entry level contract for the 2021-22 season. https://t.co/9RGzPvUz3W
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) March 31, 2021
Odeen Tufto Signs an ELC to Add to Tampa Bay Lightning Arsenal
Since the 2017-18 season, Tufto has been playing with the Quinnipiac team. In his second to last season, he was awarded the title of assistant captain, and earned the “C” on his chest in the 2020-21 season. This past season, he played 29 games, scoring eight times and adding on 39 assists for 47 points. He had 22 minutes in penalties and was a +8 over that same stretch. In his four years at Quinnipiac University, Tufto played 139 games, scored 39 goals, had 129 assists for 168 total points. With only 58 minutes in penalties and a +33 plus/minus rating, Tufto was an incredibly solid player throughout his time.
Tufto is up for a slew of awards this season, including First Team All-ECAC Hockey and All College Hockey News Second Team. He was also named the ECAC Player of the Year, and finished top 10 in Hobey Baker Award voting.
It’s not secret the Lightning have one of the strongest forward groups in the league. At an average team age of 28, the Lightning are young, talented, and deep. Having Odeen Tufto signed just adds to that depth and skill. He will likely develop in the minors with the Syracuse Crunch until he is called up. With so many skilled forwards, Tufto won’t see consistent play time for a few seasons, unless multiple injuries happen. Having a few years to hone his abilities in the minors makes Tufto a scarier sight for future NHL defences. His ability to create openings to set up his teammates is what made him so deadly in college, so having time to develop will only help him.