The Florida Panthers, parent club of the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage, have acquired center James Wright and defenseman Mike Vernace from the Tampa Bay Lightning, parent club of the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals, in exchange for defensemen Mike Kostka and Evan Oberg.
Wright, 21, has played in 22 games with Norfolk this season, registering five points (one goal, four assists) and six penalty minutes.
The 6-foot-3, 196-pound center has skated in 49 games with Tampa Bay in three professional seasons, recording five points (2g, 3a) and 18 PIM. The Saskatoon, Sask., native, who was drafted by Tampa Bay in the fourth round (117th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, has also played in 102 games with Norfolk over his career, recording 52 points (17-35-52).
Vernace, 25, has recorded 12 points (2g, 10a) in 22 games with Norfolk this season.
The 6-foot, 216-pound defenseman has played in 22 games in the NHL over his six-year professional career, registering an assist and 10 PIM. The Toronto native, who was a seventh round pick (201st overall) of the San Jose Sharks in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, has played in 326 games in the AHL with Albany, Lake Erie, Chicago, Hamilton and Norfolk, recording 111 points (18g, 93a).
Oberg, 6-foot, 165 pounds, has played in 12 games with San Antonio this season, notching two assists with 14 penalty minutes. He has played in 125 career AHL games with the Rampage, the Rochester Americans and the Manitoba Moose. Oberg has also skated in five career Calder Cup Playoff games, all with Manitoba during the 2009-10 season.
A native of Forestburg, Alta., Oberg has played in four career NHL games with the Vancouver Canucks. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by Vancouver on Apr. 10, 2009, and was acquired by Florida with the Canucks’ third-round choice in 2013 in exchange for Chris Higgins on Feb. 28, 2011.
Kostka, 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, has appeared in 18 games with San Antonio this season, recording two goals and six points. He has played in 255 career AHL games with the Rampage, Rochester and the Portland Pirates. Kostka has recorded 24 goals and 118 points with 132 penalty minutes during his AHL career. He has also appeared in eight Calder Cup Playoff games, registering one goal.
A native of Etobicoke, Ont., Kostka was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Buffalo Sabres on March 23, 2008.