Namestnikov, Vladislav

Bolts Increase the Population of Syracuse

The Tampa Bay Lightning assigned 18 players to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL ahead of what appears to be an NHL lockout, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Among the players moving to New York are reigning AHL Most Valuable Player Cory Conacher, former No.6 overall pick Brett Connolly, and last year's late-season signing, J.T. Brown. Others include recently signed prospects Vladislav Namestnikov, Danick Gauthier, Dmitry Korobov, and Riku Helenius. The additions of Connolly, Brown, Namestnikov, and Korobov will make the Crunch a stronger team, which is scary considering they were already among the favorites to claim the Calder Cup.

The full list of new Syracuse residents includes forwards Brown, Conacher, Connolly, Gauthier, Alex Hutchings, Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn, Namestnikov, Ondrej Palat, Richard Panik; defensemen Mark Barberio, Radko Gudas, Korobov, Charles Landry, Dan Milan; and goaltenders Helenius, Dustin Tokarski, and Pat Nagle.

We'll offer some opinions shortly on who could end up in ECHL Florida with the Everblades and who likely stays in Syracuse.

Bolt Prospects 2012 NHL Entry Draft Coverage: Forwards

The strength of the Lightning organization remains at the forward positions, where the team still boasts an impressive mix of star veterans like Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, and Ryan Malone, and the game's best young star, Steven Stamkos. The team will spend some of its offseason tweaking its third line, and they made overtures to Swiss star Damien Brunner to try to improve their scoring depth on the wings. But, ultimately, the team should feel pretty solid offensively. Keeping the puck out of the back of their own net has always been the bigger challenge.

Bolt Prospects 2012 NHL Entry Draft Coverage: Introduction

With the Lightning prospect season finally completed, it is now time to turn our attention to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. While the team's prospect system enjoyed unprecedented success, the team's struggles at the NHL level last season left the Lightning with a draft pick bonanza after a bevy of pre-deadline deals. Heading into the draft, the Lightning currently holds a pair of first round picks, and at least one second round pick following the trade of picks 37 and 50 to Nashville in the Anders Lindback trade.

Memorial Cup Game Night: 5-27-12

2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup

Shawinigan Cataractes 2 vs London Knights 1 (OT)

C Vladislav Namestnikov , LDN: 0-0-0, -1, 2 SOG, 2 PIM (holding), 0 Hits
MemCup Totals: 4 GP, 2-0-2, -3, 4 PIM
Playoff Totals: 19 GP, 4-14-18, +10, 18 PIM
Season Totals: 63 GP, 22-49-71, +15, 50 PIM

Shawinigan won the Memorial Cup for the first time in their history (43 years) when undrafted Russian import player Anton Zlobin, a 40-goal scorer in the regular season, scored late in the first overtime for the Cats. It was Zlobin’s second goal of the game. He will re-enter the draft this year.

Columbus prospect Michael Chaput, a former Flyers draft pick acquired in a trade, was named the tournament’s most valuable player. Lightning prospects Brad Richards and Dustin Tokarski have won it in the past.

Shawinigan was only the second team to win the tiebreaker, semifinals, and finals en route to the championship (Windsor Spitfires).

Current Lightning prospect Vladislav Namestnikov was involved in three prime scoring chances, including one in overtime when he was stationed at the side of the net and he had the puck bounce over his stick. Earlier in the game he set up longtime linemate and former Lightning camper Seth Griffith for a nifty one timer that was saved. Namestnikov used his speed to chase down Coyotes first rounder Brandon Gormley, but instead of beating him to the puck he faked like he was going to challenge for the puck from the inside, then darted around him to the outside, lifted Gormley’s stick, stole the puck, pivoted, and found a trailing Griffith for the shot.

Early in the third period Namestnikov was the victim of a late hit and he hit the boards hard – possibly his head. He remained on the ice for a few minutes before being escorted to the bench by a trainer. He was out on the power play seconds later, but had a bad giveaway then looked shaky on his skates as he prevented a scoring chance at the other end of the rink. He didn’t see the ice again until overtime, and he didn’t look like himself in the extra session.

Next year Namestnikov will be in the AHL or back in the Ontario Hockey League. His skill set, speed, and vision project as first-line quality, but his frame is slender and he will be knocked around easily at the NHL level. Plus, Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman likes his prospects to patiently develop if the situation allows it. Namestnikov is already signed to an NHL contract. He has a long offseason of weight training ahead of him.

Memorial Cup Game Night: 5-22-12

2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup

London Knights 3 vs Edmonton Oil Kings 1

C Vladislav Namestnikov , LDN: 0-0-0, E, 1 SOG, 0 PIM, 1 Hit
MemCup Totals: 3 GP, 2-0-2, -2, 2 PIM
Playoff Totals: 19 GP, 4-14-18, +10, 18 PIM
Season Totals: 63 GP, 22-49-71, +15, 50 PIM

London put themselves in position for a possible automatic bid to the Memorial Cup’s championship game with a 3-1 win over WHL champion Edmonton on Tuesday night. Lightning prospect Vladislav Namestnikov was scoreless for the second straight game, though he was 6/8 on faceoffs to help the effort. Ryan Rupert (2012), Bo Horvat (2013), and Greg McKegg (Leafs) scored for London. Rupert’s goal came off a bad turnover by possible Lightning 2012 first round draft pick Griffin Reinhart, arguably Edmonton’s top defensive defenseman. The game was not broadcast on NHL Network in the U.S., but will be shown tomorrow morning on the network. If Saint John beats Shawinigan on Wednesday, London will receive an automatic bid to the finals. If Shawinigan wins, the Cataractes get the automatic bid as they defeated London. The Knights beat Saint John in their first game. At the least, London has a spot in the semifinals. They’ll play the winner of a game between Edmonton and the loser of Saint John and Shawinigan.

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