For those without Dispatch accounts, here is a summary:
Austrian Dman Andre Lakos, 24, signed a one year deal with the Jackets. CBJ bosses confirm it, but won't announce it until tomorrow.
Devils and Rangers were also interested in him. Devils drafted him in 99 and he was sent to the AHL.
"Playing in the NHL has always been a childhood dream and now I am closer to realizing it than ever," he said. "Columbus is building up a young team, and I want to become part of it."
At the world championships in Prague, Lakos scored in a 2-2 tie with Canada.
Lakos would be the fourth Austrian to make it to the NHL after Reinhard Divis (St. Louis Blues), Christoph Brandner (Minnesota Wild) and Thomas Pock (New York Rangers).
Lakos also said confirmed that the CBJ are speaking with Matthias Trattnig about a contract as well.
Now may not be a particularly good time for a marginal prospect to sign with us as a free agent, especially on defense. We may very well have 3 rookie defensemen on the opening night roster (Tyutin, Kondratiev, and Pock). Young players may be thinking that it may be difficult to squeeze playing time out of a lineup that already will have a ton of young people on it.
We may have better luck with forwards, but I would prefer to get a guy like Prucha here.
I havenīt seen him in 3-4 years, since he played for Austria in a WC. Lakos is huge and wasnīt a complete stiff. He had decent hands and all but didnīt use his body all that much.I saw his name in Albany a couple of times but he never got a shot in the NHL. I think he had some problems with injuries and returned to Austria.