The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to stock their organizational cupboard as they hope to keep their contention window open.
The Lightning dipped their toes into the junior hockey pond on Tuesday afternoon, signing forward Bennett MacArthur to a three-year entry-level contract.
MacArthur has played for the QMJHL's Acadie-Bathurst Titan for all three years of his junior career, racking up 25 goals and 43 points in just 26 games this season. This is the second consecutive campaign that MacArthur is set to score at over a point-per-game, with the 21-year-old finishing the 2020-21 season with 40 points in 33 games, as well.
MacArthur is one of the more productive over-age players in the CHL this season, reportedly drawing interest from a number of NHL teams -- and for good reason. The undrafted winger brings both size and offensive presence to his team's forward corps, standing at six-foot-one and weighing in at 197 pounds.
For a player with such size to possess the scoring touch that Bennett has is quite impressive. Not to mention, the Lightning have made a habit of finding diamonds in the rough of the junior hockey free-agent market in recent years, with the likes of Yanni Gourde, and Alexandre Barre-Boulet signing with the team out of junior and going on to carve out legitimate, and in Gourde's case, even impressive NHL careers.
MacArthur will be Tampa's next developmental experiment. Whether the organization can shape him into a big-league caliber player remains to be seen. But given the Lightning's reputation as a franchise at the forefront of prospect development, they have better odds than most.