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2019 Post-Draft Prospect Rankings


The 2018-2019 regular season has come and gone and it was the best season in Lightning history. Then the playoffs happened. A funny thing happened on the way to lifting the Cup and it happened so fast the only thing most Lightning fans remember was the culprit was wearing a blue jacket and John Tortorella was giddy.

The Lightning took the first step to putting both the good and bad of the 2018-2019 season behind them this past week with the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Tampa Bay added seven prospects to the farm, and some were bigger than others. But where does Nolan Foote, Max Cajkovic, and others fit into the current stable of youngsters? Glad you asked. We’ve added the newbies into the existing group to come up with our post-draft rankings.

As usual, a refresher is in order about the rules of the rankings. Only players under the age of 24 on opening night of the regular season are eligible to be ranked. Skaters with 41 NHL games in a single season or a total of 82 career NHL games are considered graduated and are ineligible to be ranked. Goaltenders with 30 decisions in a single NHL season or 41 career NHL decisions are also considered graduated. Finally, NCAA-based players are eligible for the rankings for the duration of their college careers, irrespective of their age. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Consult your doctor if … nevermind.

And away we go…

Bolts Re-Sign Defensive Prospect Ben Thomas

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Ben Thomas to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today.

Thomas, 23, played in 67 games with the Crunch last season, recording two goals and 16 points to go along with 24 penalty minutes. The Calgary, Alberta native set a career high with a plus-18 rating and netted his first career shorthanded goal during the 2018-19 season.

The 6-foot-1, 187-pound defenseman has skated in 218 career AHL games, all with Syracuse over the past four seasons, registering 10 goals and 63 points to go along with 112 penalty minutes. Thomas has also appeared in 29 career Calder Cup playoff games, posting five goals and 13 points. He was originally drafted by the Lightning in the fourth round, 119th overall, at the 2014 NHL Draft.

Lightning Make Martel Extension Official

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Danick Martel to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today.

Martel, 5-foot-8, 176 pounds, played in nine games with the Lightning last season, recording two assists. He also skated in four games for Tampa Bay’s top affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, and recorded one assist. Martel was claimed off waivers by the Bolts from the Philadelphia Flyers on September 22, 2018.

The Drummondville, Quebec native has played in 13 career NHL games between the Lightning and the Flyers, recording two assists. He has also appeared in 203 career AHL games with the Crunch and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, notching 68 goals and 121 points with a plus-19 rating. Martel has also skated in 18 career Calder Cup Playoff games, all with the Phantoms, and registered five goals with nine points.

Martel, 24, was originally undrafted and was signed by Philadelphia as a free agent on March 10, 2015.

Bolts Sign Gemel Smith to One Year, Two-Way Deal

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent forward Gemel (juh-MEHL) Smith to a one-year, two-way contract today, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced.

Smith, 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, played in 17 games last season with the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins, recording two goals and three points. He also played in 47 games with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League, notching 16 goals and 40 points. Smith also skated in two Calder Cup Playoff games. He was claimed off waivers by Boston from Dallas on December 6, 2018.

The Toronto, Ontario native has played in 80 career NHL games with the Stars and Bruins, registering 11 goals and 20 points. He established career highs of six goals and 11 points in 46 games with Dallas during the 2017-18 season. Smith has played in 233 career AHL games with the Bruins and Texas Stars, amassing 51 goals and 126 points. He has also played in five career Calder Cup Playoff games.

Smith, 25, was selected by Dallas in the fourth round, 13th overall, in the 2012 NHL Draft.

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