The Tampa Bay Lightning announced today that the team has signed forward Jack Finley to a three-year entry level contract. Finley was the Lightning’s first player selected in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, 57th overall in the second round. In 61 games last season for the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL, Finley recorded 19 goals and 57 points with 32 PIM.
Standing at 6’5” and weighing 207 pounds, Finley already has an NHL frame. To give a NHL size comparison, Patrik Laine is listed at 6’5” and 206 pounds. Being only 18 years old and already having that much weight, there’s the possibility that he could get up to the 220 to 230 range in his prime as he adds more muscle. Brian Boyle, another very large center, is listed at 6’6” and 245 pounds. Finley also has an NHL pedigree in father Jeff Finley who played 708 games in the NHL on the blue line.
Finley has pretty good hands for a big man, but his skating still needs work. Luckily the Lightning have one of the best skating coaches in the NHL in Barb Underhill to help him smooth out his stride and more effectively use his strength on the ice. Finley is capable defensively and has contributed on the penalty kill for Spokane. His offense took a big step forward in 2019-20 as he got more ice time and moved up from the bottom six role he played in 2018-19. He could definitely stand to put the puck in the back of the net more.