The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenceman Dmitry Semykin to a three-year, entry-level contract. The deal will carry the 20-year-old through 2022-23. Tampa Bay announced the move early Thursday afternoon.
We have signed defenseman Dmitry Semykin to a three-year, entry-level contract beginning with the 2020-21 season.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) May 7, 2020
Lightning Sign Dmitry Semykin
Semykin has split his 2019-20 season between programs in Russia. Most of his games came with SKA-St. Petersburg in the MHL where he scored nine goals and 24 points in 44 games. Semykin then scored one goal and two points in two playoff games before Russian hockey cancelled operations. He also had three games with the SKA-St. Petersburg VHL affiliate.
The Lightning originally drafted Semykin in the third round of the 2018 Draft. He is a big body at 6’3″, 201 pounds but he is a good skater despite his size. His size gives him a definite advantage when it comes to blocking off opponents or trying to gain control of the puck. Semykin’s size and age gave him a boost compared to his MHL competition but there is a great deal of potential in his physical game. He makes too many mental mistakes without the puck right now though. The mental game is what is holding him back right now. That is something he and his coaches will have to work on to maximize Semykin’s professional potential.
What This Means for the Future
Semykin will spend at least one of the new deal’s three seasons in Tampa Bay’s AHL or ECHL affiliates. The Lightning have one of the best player development systems in today’s NHL, so there is a strong chance he ends his deal in a position to succeed at the NHL level.
Tampa has made a smart move to secure a promising young defender but there is more to do while hockey is shut down. The Lightning will have very little cap space if the cap ceiling stays flat as expected. That will force the front office to get creative with deals if they want to retain all of their exciting prospects. Expect far more activity from Tampa as we approach the offseason.