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NHL's top draft pick signs contract with Lightning

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -Steven Stamkos signed a three-year, $2.625 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, who already have penciled in the No. 1 pick in the NHL draft as the team's second-line center.

The 18-year-old's standard entry-level contract includes a yearly base salary of $875,000, as well as a maximum of $8.55 million in performance bonuses that could make the deal worth up to $11.175 million.

The Lightning announced the deal Tuesday in Victoria, British Columbia, where the team is holding a prospect camp.

"It is obvious to all of our staff in a brief period of time that Steven is a very special young man with great potential. His work ethic and eagerness to learn have been very impressive," Lightning vice president of hockey operations Brian Lawton said.

"We believe with our veteran leadership that Tampa Bay is the perfect scenario for Steven to grow and mature as a player and person on and off the ice," Lawton added.

Stamkos had 100 goals and 97 assists in 124 games over two seasons for Sarnia in the Ontario Hockey League.

He is the third player the Lightning have drafted No. 1 overall, joining Roman Hamrlik in 1992 and Vincent Lecavalier in 1998.

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