Welcome back to my top ten prospect series.
Last time, we went to the state of Missouri to check out who the St. Louis Blues had kicking around in the pipelines, and found a list that was highlighted by Jordan Kyrou, Klim Kostin, and Dominik Bokk. This time, we’re going to go back down to the sunshine state and check out league’s best Tampa Bay Lightning to see who could be representing them in the near future. Without further ado, let’s have a look.
1. Taylor Raddysh (LW, 2nd Round, 58th Overall in 2016)
Raddysh spent nearly his entire OHL career with the Erie Otters and garnered some extra looks after his explosive 2016-17 season where he put up 109 points in 58 games. While he took a minor step back in his final OHL season, he’s turned it on for the Syracuse Crunch this season with 23 points in 29 games. At this point, it seems inevitable that Raddysh will be making the jump to the NHL sooner rather than later.
2. Boris Katchouk (LW, 2nd Round, 44th Overall in 2016)
Like Raddysh, Katchouk is a left winger taken in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft. His game steadily got better with every OHL season he had, and he’s in his first AHL season as well, having put up 14 points in 29 games. It might take a little bit longer, but it also seems inevitable that the Kitchener native will be given a look at the NHL level at some point.
3. Cal Foote (D, 1st Round, 14th Overall in 2017)
The son of former NHL star Adam Foote, Cal Foote has been incredible at every level he’s played at and is only getting better. The 6’4 right-handed defenseman is great at shutting down zone entries and has lots of offense to his game as well. Foote has 13 points in 30 games this year and will be a very good addition to an already-loaded Lightning defensive core.
4. Alexander Volkov (LW, 2nd Round, 48th Overall in 2017)
On a team that’s already chock full of elite scorers like Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Brayden Point, Volkov is only going to make the Lightning more dangerous once he makes the team. The Moskva, Russia native has a wicked shot and can play on either wing. He currently has 19 points in 30 games for the Syracuse Crunch.
5. Erik Cernak (D, 2nd Round, 43rd Overall in 2015 to Los Angeles)
Acquired in the deal that sent Ben Bishop to L.A., Cernak has never been known as an offensive force. But he plays a very good defensive game and doesn’t take a lot of penalties despite his physicality. The big right handed defenseman got his first taste of NHL action this year after a great start to his AHL season and currently has seven assists in 21 games for the Lightning.
6. Mitchell Stephens (C, 2nd Round, 33rd Overall in 2015)
Stephens is an all around solid offensive player. He’s put up points at a point-per-game pace at almost every level he’s played at, and is currently in his second AHL season where he has eight points in nine games so far. He’s been out with an injury since the end of October, but if he keeps up his play when he gets back, it’s entirely possible we could see him get his first NHL call-up at some point this season.
7. Connor Ingram (G, 3rd Round, 88th Overall in 2016)
Ingram is in a bit of a tough situation. He’s a very good goaltender prospect who, on almost any other team, would be given a shot to eventually take over as the starting goalie, but in Ingram’s case he has to beat out young star Andrei Vasilevskiy for a spot. Ingram has been no slouch at the AHL level, with a record of 9-5-0 as well as a save percentage of .920 and a GAA of 2.44, so it will be interesting to see how his situation plays out in Tampa Bay.
8. Dominik Masin (D, 2nd Round, 35th Overall in 2014)
Masin has never been known as an offensive defenseman, but his offensive ability has gotten better each season and has improved consistently with every level he’s played at. He’s still known better as a defensive defenseman, but if he continues to work on his game in the AHL, he will no doubt eventually earn a permanent job with the Lightning. He currently has seven points in 30 AHL games.
9. Alex Barre-Boulet (C, Undrafted, Signed in 2018)
After leading the QMJHL in points last season, the Lightning signed Barre-Boulet to an entry level contract and he’s proving to be worth the money so far, with 30 points in 30 AHL games so far. Barring any injury, the Quebec native must be near the top of the list of potential call-ups.
10. Gabriel Fortier (LW, 2nd Round, 59th Overall in 2018)
In his third QMJHL season as an 18 year old, Fortier is currently an alternate captain for the Baie-Comeau Drakkar and has put up 47 points in 37 games for them so far. If his play keeps improving steadily over his development, he will definitely earn some extra looks at the pro level.
Thanks for reading! Tune in next time where we’ll go over the top ten prospects in the Vancouver Canucks system.
stats from eliteprospects.com
featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals