Lawton Impressed With Lawrence, Rogers
TBL.com sat down with the Lightning's Brian Lawton following this week's Prospect Camp to get a feel for which prospects not named Stamkos raised some eyebrows. Getting special props from Lawton were Andy Rogers and Chris Lawrence.
â€œChris Lawrence really surprised us, as did Andy Rogers. They are the perfect example of guys who just needed a fresh start and both responded very well. You can expect to see them in our main camp in Tampa and in exhibition games this year. We expect both of them to take a dramatic upswing in their careers.â€
Lawton also praised new defensive prospect Ty Wishart acquired in the trade with San Jose for Dan Boyle. â€œTyâ€™s been a terrific surprise â€“ heâ€™s got such good size and mobility with strong stick and puck skills. Heâ€™s a lot further along than we thought when we made the trade for him.â€
For Andy Rogers, a former Lightning 1st round pick and BP top-ranked prospect, an impressive prospect camp was absolutely essential if he was going to salvage a NHL career after two injury-filled pro seasons and non-distinct play. Rogers, now in the final year of his three-year entry-level deal, was close to making the Lightning opening night roster two seasons ago but has now dropped behind most of the other defensive prospects in the organization.
For Chris Lawrence, his first pro season last year was marred by a shoulder injury that limited his impact to an offensively-challenged Admirals squad. Lawrence, a big hulking center/winger, has the size and physical presence to be an imposing power forward and with an impressive training camp could earn a important role with the Admirals next season.