The 2016 NHL Entry Draft is over, and thanks to ESPN’s football draft coverage, everyone expects an immediate grade. Well, as stated last year, we don’t do that. At least not yet; check back in five years.
We’ll rate it this way: Going into the draft we laid out the following player types on a need/want/wish list. Need doesn’t mean Tampa Bay Lightning NHL need, because no one they were going to pick at 27 or beyond was going to help this year or next (or the next?) anyway. Need covers an organizational need as it pertains to variety and depth. We can also look at perceived value per round, but you can usually stop after the fourth round on that because anything after the fourth round is a flier anyway and the probability of that player filling a need in the future organizational picture is possible, but low.
So, looking at the Lightning's 2016 draft, let’s compare who was taken with our wish list.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning announced the schedule and roster for the team’s annual Development Camp, to be held from June 28 through July 2 at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum. The roster currently consists of a total of 33 players: 21 forwards, eight defensemen and four goaltenders. The camp is free and open to the public.
The camp will feature some of the Lightning’s top prospects competing in on- and off-ice workouts, skating drills and will culminate with the annual 3-on-3 tournament on Friday and Saturday.
In attendance will be nine of the Lightning’s 10 draft picks from this past weekend’s NHL Draft in Buffalo, New York, including first-round pick Brett Howden, as well as second-round selections Libor Hajek, Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh. They join a roster which also includes highly-touted prospects Adam Erne (2nd Round, 2013), Brayden Point (3rd Round, 2014), Mitchell Stephens (2nd Round, 2015), Dominik Masin (2nd Round, 2014) and more.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have issued qualifying offers to seven players today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
The deadline for NHL clubs to issue offers is today. By issuing qualifying offers to the aforementioned players, the Lightning are given the right of the first refusal or draft choice compensation should the player sign an offer sheet with another NHL club.
Forward David Broll was not issued a qualifying offer and will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2016.
BP Commentary (Chad): Really no huge surprises here. McGinn is a nice depth forward who will continue to help Syracuse. Gourde was not part of the Black Aces last year despite being a call-up earlier in the season, but he was hurt. He's also nice depth, a year removed from leading the Crunch in goals. Nesterov was a no-brainer though he's been passed by Slater Koekkoek, but again, depth. Broll's exit isn't surprising. Boko Imama could take his spot as the Crunch's pugilist, though he doesn't have a contract. Boko can go back to Saint John as an overager, or he could be signed to an AHL deal and have his rights retained, and therefore wouldn't count against the organization's 50-man roster. The guess here is Tampa Bay is in a wait-and-see mode over the summer.
Name: Ross Colton
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthdate: 11 SEP 96
Club: University of Vermont (HEAST)
Cedar Rapids (USHL), 55 GP, 35-31-66, 79 PIM; Playoffs: 5 GP, 1-0-1, 0 PIM
"A left wing/center who played in the USHL and is going to Vermont. Good size, 5-11 to 6-feet, 195/190 pounds, and a good skill level. Skates well and a good, solid, all-around 2-way player with offensive ability" ... Colton [and Lohin] are guys you get now so you aren't bidding for them in three years as NCAA free agents. -- Lightning Director of Amateur Scouting Al Murray.
Name: Connor Ingram
Weight: 194 lbs.
Birthdate: 31 MAR 98
Club: Kamloops (WHL)
Kamloops (WHL), 61 GP, 2.61 GAA, 0.922 SV%; Playoffs: 7 GP, 2.12 GAA, 0.938 SV%
"He was one of the top-3 goalies on our list. We had him ranked very high. He's a player that our goalie coach Dave Alexander from Syracuse went to work with him a couple weeks ago at Hockey Canada's goalie camp, he's one of the goalies invited to Canada's World Junior Team - one of four goalkeepers. Had a tremendous season in Kamloops, gave them a chance to win every night and Dave was very complimentary coming out of the goalie camp about Ingram, and confirmed a lot of things that we've seen in him." -- Lightning Director of Amateur Scouting Al Murray
Name: Taylor Raddysh
Position: Right Wing
Weight: 203 lbs.
Birthdate: 18 FEB 98
Club: Erie (OHL)
Erie (OHL), 67 GP, 24-49-73, 18 PIM; Playoffs: 12 GP, 4-6-10, 2 PIM
"A big-bodied winger, a good skater, a little better skater than Boris (Katchouk), a little better than Boris, not as much bang as Boris. Two different guys. Plays for a very good team in Erie -- had two real good lines. [Re: Playing with Strome and Debrincat] Taylor can think and play at the level of the top players in junior hockey and we have hopes for him going forward." -- Lightning Director of Amateur Scouting Al Murray.
Name: Boris Katchouk
Position: Left Wing/Right Wing
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthdate: 18 JUN 98
Club: Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
Sault Ste. Marie (OHL), 63 GP, 24-27-51, 61 PIM; Playoffs: 12 GP, 6-4-10, 4 PIM
"Can play left or right side. High compete level with skill and hockey sense, so Boris is what you might call a power forward and plays a real hard, gritty game, but has the hockey sense and skill to complement skill players." - Lightning Director of Amateur Scouting Al Murray
Name: Christopher Paquette
Weight: 174 lbs.
Birthdate: 27 MAR 98
Club: Niagra (OHL)
Niagra (OHL), 57 GP, 5-11-16, 18 PIM
"He was on a really strong team this year. Niagara probably gave London their best battle all year long and played them in the OHL finals. Niagara went to win the OHL this year so they loaded up, and if you looked at their lineup it was almost all drafted players – I think they had somewhere between 12-14 NHL-drafted players so [Christopher] got knocked down the roster and played on the fourth line for the most part. We think he’s got an upside like Anthony Cirelli. Anthony started on the fourth line with Oshawa and gradually worked his way up to the second line and then this year was their first line center. Well, next year most of those guys on Niagara are going to graduate and [Christopher] is going to go up the depth chart, so we’re expecting him to be on the first or second line next year and get the chance to show the offensive ability that he wasn’t able to show this year. He was a high pick in the OHL draft, plays a 2-way game, good size, good skater, good attention to detail at all ends of the ice and we think he’s got offensive upside that he hasn’t been able to show yet." -- Lightning Director of Amateur Scouting Al Murray
Name: Libor Hajek
Weight: 196 lbs.
Birthdate: 04 FEB 98
Club: Saskatoon (WHL)
Saskatoon (WHL), 69 GP, 3-23-26, 76 PIM
"He’s a bigger body, a very solid two-way player ... Libor Hajek was a 'safer bet' to be able to adapt both offensively and defensively to NHL than DeAngelo ... You watch Libor Hajek play on a really weak Saskatoon team and he just plays as hard as he can every shift all night long and his coach, who has just left the team to take an assistant position in Buffalo, couldn't say enough good things about him through the course of the year. On a weak team, he showed up and competed hard against the best players in the league every night when he could have folded his tent." - Lightning Director of Amateur Scouting Al Murray
Name: Oleg Sosunov
Weight: 243 lbs.
Birthdate: 13 APR 98
Club: Loko-Yunior Yaroslavl (MHL B)
Loko Yaroslavl (MHL), 3 GP, 0-0-0, 0 PIM
Loko-Yunior Yaroslavl (MHL B), 39 GP, 4-8-12, 66 PIM; Playoffs: 12 GP, 0-2-2, 10 PIM
"He’s a big fella out of Russia. Halfway through the season Kari Kettunen, our Finnish scout, he’s got some people that he knows in Russia and he got a phone call from one of the guys, saying ‘I have a guy here that I think somebody should come in and take a look at that I think is a little under the radar.’ So, Kari made a special trip Russia – secret agent 007 Kettunen -- went into Russia – Yaroslavl – took a look at him and came out and was very complimentary. Came back and we sent Anton Routa – another scout – in a separate trip to go take a look, and Anton confirmed Kari’s excitement that this is a big guy who skates really well and has some skill and is very raw. Both his parents were, I believe, Olympic athletes, and so he’s got a natural athletic background and he’s very coordinated for a big man. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to come to Development Camp; he’s in training camp with the Yaroslavl men’s team trying to get a spot within their organization, and with the short notice to try to get a Russian visa would have been difficult as well, so unfortunately people won’t see Oleg, but he’s a big man and we’ll see what happens going forward there." -- Lightning Director of Amateur Scouting Al Murray