Bolt Prospect of the Week

We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Bolt Prospect of the Week for the week ending October 12 is … Dennis Yan, W, Shawinigan Cataractes, QMJHL.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are taking over the Canadian Hockey League.

Two Lightning prospects, Dennis Yan (QMJHL) and Brayden Point (WHL), won their respective league’s Player of the Week this week after they combined for three hat tricks.

Point had a hat trick last Wednesday against Vancouver, also adding an assist in an 8-5 Moose Jaw win. Two nights later he was first star again (1+1 plus a shootout goal) in a shootout loss to Edmonton, then finished his week with a goal, two assists, and a plus-4 rating in a win over Kootenay while earning third star. The Lightning’s 2014 third round pick had 11 points in three games during the week. He has 12 points in four games this season, which leads the Warriors despite the fact Point has played two fewer games than his teammates due to being at Lightning camp.

Any prospect would be hard pressed to beat out Point for the Bolt Prospect of the Week award, but that’s what Dennis Yan did.

Yan had 10 points in just two games for Shawinigan, including two hat tricks. On Friday night he had three goals and two assists and was second star in the Cataractes’ 8-7 overtime win over Rouyn-Noranda. One night later had repeated the 3+2 feat, but was first star as Shawinigan beat Val-d’Or, 5-2. Yan was plus-6 over the two games, which helped him win the QMJHL’s First Star for the week, and the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Week (and our Bolt Prospect of the Week, which really should be listed first).

For the season, Yan has nine goals and seven assists in seven games, which is third on the Cataractes scoring list and fifth in the league despite the fact Yan missed four games while with the Lightning.

A third round pick like Point, Yan projects as a scoring forward at the NHL level if his development goes as planned. He’s got the skill, but how he puts his overall game together will determine how high he climbs the organizational ladder. Fortunately, Yan can look to Nikita Kucherov as an example. Once knocked for inconsistent effort, Kucherov added defensive awareness and consistent compete-level to his elite skill package to be an impact player at the NHL level.

He doesn’t project to be as accomplished a scorer as Kucherov at the NHL level, but the dumpster of crumpled up incorrect scouting reports is large and overflowing (and includes Kucherov’s).

Yan will have another camp with the Lightning next summer before returning to juniors for his final year of eligibility outside of an overage year. He cannot start in the AHL until the 2017-2018 season, when he'll be 20.

Going by his current pace, he’ll have 40 more hat tricks by then.

BP Rank: 11

Honorable Mention: Brayden Point, C, Moose Jaw – WHL (WHL Player of the Week); Jonathan Marchessault, W, Syracuse – AHL; Jimmy Mullin, W, Minnesota State – NCAA.

Previous 2015-2016 Prospect of the Week winners:

October 6: Mitchell Stephens, W, (Saginaw, OHL, Canada)
September 29: Matt Peca, C, (Tampa Bay, NHL, USA)