The Tampa Bay Lightning have assigned forward Mattias Ritola to the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Ritola, 6-foot, 192 pounds, has appeared in a NHL career-high 24 games this season with the Lightning, recording career-bests with two goals, four assists and six points. He currently ranks second among Tampa Bay rookies in hits with 16, blocked shots with six and takeaways with five. He has registered points in consecutive games on two separate occasions this season.
A native of Borlange, Sweden, Ritola has appeared in 31 NHL games with both the Lightning and the Detroit Red Wings. He is also a veteran of 211 AHL games with the Grand Rapids Griffins. He has amassed 41 goals, 65 assists and 106 points during his AHL career and posted his best season in 2009-10 when he tied for third on the Griffins with 42 points in 73 games, while ranking third on the team with six power-play goals and also recording an AHL career-high 178 shots. Ritola has played in eight career Calder Cup Playoff games, recording two assists.
Prior to making his North American debut, Ritola began his career in his native country, appearing in 30 games with Leksands of the Swedish Elite League and registering three points and 10 penalty minutes. He also skated in 23 games with Leksands following the club’s relegation to Sweden’s first division, recording two goals and six points. Before turning professional, Ritola played one season in Sweden’s top junior league, notching 26 points in 27 games. He also represented Sweden at the 2006 World Junior Championships, registering four points in six games.
Ritola was originally selected by the Red Wings in the fourth round, 103rd overall, at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He joined the Lightning after being claimed off waivers from Detroit on October 5, 2010.