The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Alex Barre-Boulet to a three-year deal at league minimum. His first year of the contract has a two-way clause while the final two years are one-way.
We have signed forward Alex Barre-Boulet to a three-year contract worth $758,333 AAV.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) July 30, 2021
Alex Barre-Boulet Signs Three-Year Deal
Barre-Boulet was initially signed as an undrafted free agent back in 2018 during the Steve Yzerman era. This was after an encouraging season, albeit as an over-ager in the QMJHL; he scored 53 goals and 116 points in 65 games for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in 2017-18.
So far the 24-year-old has played in only 15 NHL games and scored three times. When on the Lightning’s roster last season, Barre-Boulet featured mainly on the top line alongside Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point. All things considered, he fitted in well in Nikita Kucherov‘s absence. According to Money Puck, Barre Boulet on the top line yielded the best expected-goals share (61.1 percent) of any Lightning line with at least 100 minutes on the ice.
Though, the majority of his entry-level contract was played out in the AHL. As a member of the Syracuse Crunch, the Quebec native enjoyed consistent production over the last three seasons. In 144 games, he potted 69 goals and 136 points at a clip of 0.94 points per game.
What This Means For the Lightning
Signing Barre-Boulet was crucial as a cheap and calculated risk for Bolts’ general manager Julien Brisebois. The 5’9″, 172-pound forward is likely to slot in on the third line and help fill the holes left by the free-agency exodus. With Barclay Goodrow, Yanni Gourde and Blake Coleman all gone, the Lightning have had to rebuild what was arguably the most effective third line in hockey. But managing to slot in a proven scorer at the AHL level in Barre-Boulet alongside breakout centre Ross Colton, the third line is starting to look competitive even if it’s not a like-for-like comparison.
*QMJHL and AHL stats sourced via Elite Prospects.