Today Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman tendered qualifying offers to five players who will become restricted free agents July 1 . Those receiving offers were Brendan Mikkelson, Brian Lee, Keith Aulie, Evan Oberg and Jaroslav Janus. Those not receiving offer sheets were minor league defenseman Sebastien Piche and recently acquired Benoit Pouliot. Both will become unrestricted free agents if they are not signed by the Lightning, however, Yzerman said he is on the verge of closing on a contract deal with Pouliot and his agent.
Mikkelson-25 was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks 31st overall in 2005. He was acquired by Tampa Bay in a trade with the Flames that sent center Blair Jones to Calgary. Tampa Bay is Mikkelson’s 4th organization since he started his pro career in 2007-2008.
Brian Lee-25 was drafted by the Ottawa Senators 9th overall in 2005. The Moorehead, Minnesota native played two seasons with the University of North Dakota before turning pro in 2007-2008. Lee appeared in the WJC in the 2006-2007 season where he played in 7 games for the United States.
Keith Aulie-23 was drafted by the Calgary Flames in 2007 116th overall. The 6’6″ defenseman has played in 3 organizations since his draft year. Aulie was acquired by the Lightning at the trade deadline for former Bolt prospect Carter Ashton. At the conclusion of the Lightning’s season, Aulie was sent down to Norfolk were he played a defensive role in the Admirals Calder Cup run.
Evan Oberg- 24 was acquired by the Lightning along with Mike Koskta from the Panthers for forward James Wright and defenseman Mike Vernace. Oberg has only played seven games in his NHL career. Three were with the Lightning during the 2011-2012 season.
Jaroslav Janus-22 was drafted by the Bolts 162nd overall in 2009. Janus has not seen time in the NHL, however, the young goalie has been praised for his style of play that mimics Mikka Kiprusoff says goalie coach Franz Jean. Janus completed the AHL regular season with 23 wins while playing backup to Dustin Tokarski.