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Tampa Bay Lightning

LIGHTNING RE-SIGN FORWARD RYAN CRAIG

Saturday, 07.15.2006 / 12:00 AM / Bolts Report
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LIGHTNING RE-SIGN FORWARD RYAN CRAIG
The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Ryan Craig to a two-way contract, Executive Vice President and General Manager Jay Feaster announced.

"Ryan had an outstanding rookie campaign last season, and we look forward to seeing him build on his performance this season," Feaster said. "His drive and determination make him not only a coach's dream and someone you can rely on in so many different situations, but he is also a tremendous team player. The team and winning always come first with Craiger."

Craig, 6-foot-2, 220-pounds, made his NHL debut in 2005-06. He played in 48 games with the Lightning and scored 15 goals while adding 13 assists. He also ranked sixth on the team in power play goals with six. His 15 goals tied him for the second most goals by a Lightning rookie in a season (Zamuner. He was the first Tampa Bay rookie to score 10 goals since Brad Richards in 2000-01. He also made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in 2006, playing in five games.

Craig, 24, began the season with the Lightning's top minor league affiliate, the Springfield Falcons, and appeared in 28 games with 12 goals and 28 points. In 2004-05 he led the Falcons in goals with 27, points with 41, power play goals with 12 and game winning goals with five. He made his professional debut with the Hershey Bears in 2003-04 and scored four goals with 12 points in 61 games.

A native of Abbotsford, British Columbia, Craig played three seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League during his junior career. During his career in Brandon he amassed 302 games played, 137 goals and 268 points. He also played in 47 playoff games and scored 19 goals with 37 points. He was also honored as the Canadian Hockey League's Humanitarian of the Year and served as the WHL's Eastern All-Star Team in the Hershey Cup. He served as the Wheat Kings' captain for two seasons.

Craig was selected by the Lightning in the eighth round, 255th overall, at the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.