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Way-Too-Early Roster Projections

As the Lightning trudge through the offseason swamp, we’ll keep a running list of best-guess rosters for Tampa Bay and Syracuse based on players available to them. Use the old “if the season started today” when looking at this. Of note: Unless you’re reading this on opening night, the season doesn’t start today and fans should never judge an offseason until the puck drops on the season.

With that said, here’s where players slot if the season were to start today. Notable RFA’s are included, but UFA’s are not. We will also not make bold predictions such as Ben Thomas unseating Anton Stralman because of his offseason workout magic, or anything like that. If a Brayden Point situation happens, it just happens. Depth charts (NOT line combos) are based on probability and relative status to their peers as of this moment.

Here we go:

Offseason Prospect Rankings

Introduction
Now that the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and Lightning prospect development camp are in the past, it's time to update BoltProspects' prospect rankings. Usually we do the introductions to these rankings in a fairly formulaic fashion, with a quick overview of the general inertia of the prospect pipeline since our last rankings update followed by the usual legalese about our ranking eligibility rules. This time around, I'd like to take a step back, though, and address a couple of things that have come up in the last month or so. You can call this clearing the air, venting, keeping it real, whatever you like...

Issue number one is the trade of Jonathan Drouin, a former prospect whose athletic gifts we obviously had a lot of respect for on the website. Because of that respect of Drouin, the talent, we were really swept up in a maelstrom of bomb throwing and hyperbole by different factions in the fan base that just didn't represent the more mature, nuanced position we have on the trade. To put it bluntly, there were so many people on my Twitter mentions acting the fool that day, you'd have thought I died and moved to a market like Toronto or Montreal where BS and hype erupt into the hockey world en masse through some rip in common sense and the time space continuum, alike.

The BoltProspects Podcast, Episode 97

This BoltProspects Podcast, Episode 97 – the Matt Gilroy Edition, contains the following topics:

· The No. 97
· Drouinsanity 3.0
· First round difficulties
· 2017 Draft review
· BP “underrating defensemen” (yes and no)
· “GirarDay” (UFA) review
· So… bottom line… are the Lightning better?

Bolts Ink Last RFA, Sign F Tye McGinn to 1 Year deal

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Tye McGinn to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

McGinn, 27, skated in 21 games with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League last season, posting 10 goals and 19 points to go along with 16 penalty minutes. McGinn missed most of the regular season due to injury. Four of his 10 goals came while on the power play. McGinn also skated in 22 Calder Cup playoff games with the Crunch, recording five goals and 16 points. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound forward has appeared in 256 career AHL games over five seasons, collecting 76 goals and 142 points.

The Fergus, Ontario native has skated in 89 career NHL games, including two with the Lightning during the 2015-16 season. McGinn has notched nine goals and 17 points to go along with 44 penalty minutes in his NHL career. He made his Lightning debut on November 1, 2015 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

McGinn was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the fourth round, 119th overall, at the 2010 NHL Draft.

Official: Lightning Extend Bournival for One Year

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Michael Bournival to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Bournival, 25, skated in 19 games with the Lightning during the 2016-17 season, recording two goals and three points to go along with two penalty minutes. The Shawinigan, Quebec native made his Bolts debut on December 1, 2016 against the St. Louis Blues, logging 6:37 of time on ice. Bournival has skated in 108 career NHL games over three seasons with the Lightning and Montreal Canadiens, posting 12 goals and 22 points.

The 5-foot-11, 198-pound forward also skated in 38 games with the Syracuse Crunch last season, collecting nine goals and 19 points to go along with 18 penalty minutes. Bournival also played in 22 Calder Cup Playoff games with the Crunch in 2017, posting eight goals and 15 points. He ranked fourth on the Crunch for playoff goals and sixth for points. He’s skated in 142 career AHL games, recording 25 goals and 69 points to go along with 66 penalty minutes.

Bournival was originally drafted by the Colorado Avalanche

Ondrej Palat Re-Signs with Lightning for 5 Years

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Ondrej Palat to a five-year contract worth $5.3-million AAV, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Palat, 26, skated in 75 games with the Lightning during the 2016-17 season, posting 17 goals and 52 points to go along with 39 penalty minutes. The Frydek-Mistek, Czech Republic native ranked third on the Lightning for assists (35) and plus/minus (+8), fourth for points and tied for fourth for power-play goals with five. Palat’s 19:07 average time on ice last season ranked second among all Lightning forwards.

The 6-foot, 188-pound forward has appeared in 307 career NHL games, all with the Lightning over the past five seasons, collecting 74 goals and 218 points to go along with 103 penalty minutes. Palat has also appeared in 46 Stanley Cup Playoff games, registering 14 goals and 29 points. During the Lightning’s 2015 Stanley Cup Playoff run, Palat recorded eight goals and 16 points in 26 games, as the Lightning lost in the Stanley Cup Final to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.

During his rookie season in 2013-14, Palat posted 23 goals and 59 points, and was named a finalist for the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. Palat has also represented his native Czech Republic numerous times in international play, including the 2016 World Cup and 2014 Winter Olympics. He was a member of the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League when they won the Calder Cup in 2012.

Palat was originally drafted by the Bolts in the seventh round, 208th overall, at the 2011 NHL Draft.

Lightning Ink Johnson to Long Term Contract

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Tyler Johnson a seven-year contract worth $5-million AAV, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Johnson, 26, skated in 66 games with the Lightning during the 2016-17 season, recording 19 goals and 45 points to go along with 28 penalty minutes. He ranked tied for third on the Lightning for goals and fifth for points. Johnson also ranked third on the Bolts for power-play goals with six and was tied for fifth with three game-winning tallies. Johnson’s 18:49 average time on ice last season ranked third among all Lightning forwards. He also led the Lightning for face-off wins (583) and face-offs taken (1,122).

The Spokane, Washington native has appeared in 308 career NHL games, all with Tampa Bay over the past five seasons, collecting 89 goals and 211 points to go along with 102 penalty minutes. Johnson has also appeared in 47 career NHL postseason games, registering 21 goals and 42 points. He led all skaters during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs for goals (13) and was tied for first with Patrick Kane for points with 23 points, as the Lightning made their franchise’s second Stanley Cup Final appearance.

Johnson was named to the NHL All-Star Game for the first time in his career during the 2014-15 season, but missed the game due to injury. He was named a finalist for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie. Johnson posted 24 goals and 50 points in 82 games during his first full season in the NHL. He was also a member of the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League when they won the Calder Cup in 2012. Johnson was awarded the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s Most Valuable Player for the 2012-13 season, as well as being named to the AHL’s 2012-13 First All-Star Team.

Johnson was originally signed as a free agent by the Lightning on March 7, 2011.

Tampa Bay Extends Jake Dotchin on Two-Year Deal

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Jake Dotchin to a two-year, one-way contract worth an AAV of $812,500, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Dotchin, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, made his NHL debut with the Lightning on January 21 at the Arizona Coyotes last season. He recorded 11 assists with a plus-10 rating in his first NHL campaign. Dotchin was second on the team for plus-minus (Kucherov, plus-13), and ranked fourth among Bolts blue-liners in average ice time with 18:25 per contest.

The Cambridge, Ontario native skated in 35 games with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League prior to joining the Lightning, recording four goals and 13 points. He returned to the Crunch for the post-season and played in 19 games in helping Syracuse to the Calder Cup Finals. He recorded six assists and was a plus-8 during the playoffs.

Dotchin has played in 157 career AHL contests, all with the Crunch since 2014, recording 11 goals and 44 points, including six power-play goals. He has played in 22 Calder Cup Playoff games, in 2017 and in 2015.

The 23-year-old was drafted by Tampa Bay in the sixth round, 161st overall, of the 2012 NHL Draft.

Bolts Re-sign F Matthew Peca to One-Year, Two-Way Contract

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Matthew Peca to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Peca, 24, played in 10 games with the Lightning last season, recording one goal and two points to go along with two penalty minutes. The Petawawa, Ontario native made his NHL debut against the Montreal Canadiens on December 28, 2016. He notched his first career NHL point with an assist on December 31 against the Carolina Hurricanes and then scored his first career NHL goal the next game on January 3 versus the Winnipeg Jets.

The 5-foot-9, 178-pound forward also appeared in 68 games with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League last season, posting 12 goals and 41 points to go along with 14 penalty minutes. Peca ranked tied for third on the Crunch for power-play goals with five, fourth for assists with 29 and sixth for points. He has skated in 141 career AHL games, all with the Crunch over the past three seasons, posting 21 goals and 88 points. Peca also skated in 22 Calder Cup Playoff games in 2017, registering four goals and 14 points, helping Syracuse to the final.

Peca was originally drafted by the Lightning in the seventh round, 201st overall, at the 2011 NHL Draft

Lightning Give Slater Koekkoek One-Year Extension

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Slater Koekkoek to a one-year, one-way contract worth $800,000 today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Koekkoek, 6-foot-2, 193 pounds, played in 29 games with the Lightning in 2016-17, recording four assists. He also skated in 48 contests with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, notching two goals and 13 points. Koekkoek also appeared in 22 Calder Cup Playoff games and registered a goal with seven points as the Crunch reached the finals.

The Winchester, Ontario native has played in 41 career NHL games, all with Tampa Bay, and recorded five assists. He has also skated in 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games and dished out one assist in those contests. Koekkoek has played in 180 career AHL games, all with the Crunch, recording 12 goals and 54 points. He has appeared in 25 career Calder Cup Playoff games and registered a goal and eight points.

Koekkoek, 23, was drafted by the Lightning in the first round, 10th overall, of the 2012 NHL Draft.

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