Lightning Acquire D Noah Welch, 2009 3rd-Round Draft Choice from Florida
D Steve Eminger Sent to Panthers
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired defenseman Noah Welch and a third-round draft choice in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft from the Florida Panthers in exchange for defenseman Steve Eminger, Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced.
“In acquiring Noah Welch today, we added talent and potential on our blue line,” said Lawton in making the announcement. “Noah is an intelligent puck mover who skates well and has good size and strength. We are confident that with added playing time he will help our team continue to improve.
“I’d like to thank Steve for working hard toward the team’s goals and for his service to the Lightning. Again, we believe we have positioned ourselves to be better over the long term.”
Welch, 6 foot 4 and 218 pounds, has played in a career high 23 games with the Panthers this season, recording a goal and two points. He has played in 56 career NHL games with Florida and the Pittsburgh Penguins, recording four goals and nine points with an even rating.
A native of Brighton, Massachusetts, Welch has played in seven games with the Panthers’ AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans, this season, recording three assists. He has played in 122 career AHL games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Rochester, recording 16 goals and 59 points. He is also a veteran of 17 career Calder Cup Playoff games, tallying a goal and three points. During 2005-06 he led all W-B/Scranton defensemen with nine goals and was second in assists with 20. He was also named as a starter to the 2006 AHL All-Star Game.
Welch played collegiate hockey at Harvard from 2001-05, recording 23 goals and 76 points in 129 career games with the Crimson. He graduated as Harvard’s all-time leader in penalty minutes with 131. In 2004-05 he was named a First Team All-American by ACHA and was named First Team All-ECAC following his senior season. He was also named the region’s top defenseman by New England Hockey Writers. He was also a Second Team All-American , First Team All-Ivy League and Second Team All-ECAC during the 2002-03 season.
The 26-year-old was selected by Pittsburgh in the second round, 54th overall, at the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. He was traded to Florida by the Penguins on February 27, 2007 in exchange for Gary Roberts.