clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lightning steal away former Pittsburgh organizational prospect on free agent market

Felix Robert, one of Wilkes-Barre’s leading scorers, is off to the Tampa organization

Pittsburgh Penguins Headshots Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s a move that won’t cause many waves, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might have just made a sneaky move with the signing of Felix Robert to an NHL level contract. Robert, 22, has spent last last two seasons in the Pittsburgh organization, but on an AHL contract.

Every NHL team gets 50 NHL level contracts, and the Penguins did not give Robert one. Thus, when free agency opened yesterday, they had no rights or hold on the player to move on. Something clearly caught Tampa’s eye, as they’re spending one of their 50 contracts on Robert, which also comes with a two-year commitment and a signing bonus.

It’s a nice bump for Robert, who is now guaranteed at least $177,500 per season total with AHL salary plus the signing bonus, with a potential call-up to the NHL down the road increasing that base salary in a major way if he can get there.

Robert scored 34 points (16G+18A) in 66 games in Wilkes last year, to make him the team’s fourth leading scorer. He was a brilliant scorer in the junior level where he put up 92 points in just 46 games with Sherbrooke of the QMJHL. Robert when undrafted, mostly due to his small frame, he is officially listed at 5’9” and 180 pounds, and generously so in both regards.

Tampa has a well-established history of taking offensive players who slip through the cracks and developing them into NHL talent. Players in the same sort of mold as Robert, from Tyler Johnson to Yanni Gourde to Alex Barre-Boulet have found varying levels of success. The latter two also being products of Quebec can’t hurt Robert’s thinking that the Tampa organization is the right one to take the next step.

Robert was a Jim Rutherford-era addition to the organization, and via the team’s preference or not, was not held onto that closely in the Ron Hextall era for Pittsburgh. That could be the Lightning’s gain in the future, if they can put Robert