June 20, 2002
Goaltender Brian Eklund, who concluded his four-year career with the Bears in March, signed a two-year rookie contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League.
"Brian Eklund is ready to take the next step in his development and join the professional ranks," Tampa Bay General Manager Jay Feaster said. "He has been a steady netminder in college and he recognizes he still has a great deal to learn at the professional level. What we really like about Brian is his size (6-foot-5, 205 pounds) and that he has consistently displayed a solid work ethic and a willingness to learn."
In accordance with club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Eklund, a seventh-round draft choice of the Lightning in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, helped lead Brown to a remarkable turnaround after going 4-21-4 in 2000-01. Thanks in large part to the goalie tandem of Eklund and sophomore Yann Danis, the Bears allowed just 2.58 goals per game this year, 13th-best in the nation. Brown finished with a record of 14-15-2 and was just one point away from third in the conference.
A native of Braintree, Massachusetts, Eklund played in 48 career games for the Bears, including a career-high 19 as a junior. He posted a 3.42 goals against average, was named ECAC Goaltender of the Week three times in his career, and also was a two-time ECAC All-Academic selection.