Tyler Johnson gets $5 million a year in 7-year contract with Lightning

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Tyler Johnson

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed center Tyler Johnson to a seven-year deal worth $5 million a year. 

The Lightning's announcement Monday means Johnson, 26, is without question their No. 2 center. He has been hampered by injuries the last couple of seasons but when he's healthy he's one of the quickest, and at times most opportunistic, forwards in the game. He plays both ends of the ice very well and has shown a knack for timely goal scoring.  

Johnson could be real bargain for Tampa

Undrafted due to his small stature (5-foot-8), the Spokane, Wash. native shows an unrelenting sense of urgency on the ice. He had 23 points in 26 games during the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs. He chipped in 17 points in 17 playoff games the next year. He's found a spot as the No. 2 center in Tampa behind Steven Stamkos, and the Lightning could be getting a real bargain in the long run. 

Johnson's determination has been evident throughout his career. He has suffered some injuries the past couple of seasons but has still managed to produce. In fact, he broke his wrist during the 2015 playoffs but continued to play through the end of the postseason. 

The Lightning traded center Valtteri Filppula at the deadline in March. Filppula's departure opened the door for Johnson to become the No. 2 center outright. The Lightning should be excited to be signing up a healthy Johnson and hopefully seeing a healthy Stamkos this coming season. Stamkos, 27, signed an eight-year contract last summer. 

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