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[Signing] Lightning sign Kristers Gudlevskis

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Report: Lightning Sign Goaltender Gudlevskis:

According to the KHL's Dynamo Riga, goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis has signed his first contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning and will be coming to North America this season.

Gudlevskis, 20, was a 2013 fifth round pick of the Bolts out of the Riga organization. He slots into the Lightning depth chart at No. 5 behind NHLers Ben Bishop and Anders Lindback, and projected AHLers Cedrick Desjardins and Riku Helenius. Both Desjardins and Helenius must pass through waivers to be assigned to AHL Syracuse, so Gudlevskis provides some insurance. At the least, he takes the spot occupied by Pat Nagle in the organization. Nagle, who backed up Desjardins for the majority of the playoffs last year in Syracuse, was not re-signed.

At 6-foot-4, Gudlevskis was impressive at the Lightning's recent prospect development camp, building upon his solid showing at this past spring's World Championships for Latvia. He was expected to return to Riga and see time with their KHL squad. He got in two games last year, posting a .921 save percentage. He posted a .927 save percentage and 2.09 goals against average in 56 games for HK Riga in the MHL last season.


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