Name: Brayden Point
Weight: 160 lbs
Club: Moose Jaw (WHL)
Dynamic puckhandler with top notch creativity and playmaking skills. Well above average hockey sense and soft hands in tight around the net. Shifty, darting, hard to catch and even harder to stop.
Tiny, and at 160 lbs lacks the strength to stand up to the rigors of the pro game. Questionable whether his frame can support putting the bulk on he needs.
Second line scoring center or AHL/European league scoring champ.
Name: Johnathan MacLeod
Weight: 200 lbs
Lots of pro tools. Big, mobile rearguard has NHL athleticism and has barely scratched his potential. Shows willingness to take the body and a big point shot. Will develop in a strong program at Boston University.
Raw. Very raw. Positionally unpolished in the defensive zone. Unrefined offensively and can tend to make a sloppy outlet pass.
Project defenseman with top-4 ceiling.
Name: Dominik Masin (pronounced "Machine")
Weight: 189 lbs
Club: Slavia Praha (CZE)
Mobile skater with a nice, projectable frame that will fill out even more. Already strong and well schooled positionally. Manages his gap control well and closes out his marks physically. Shows some ability to handle the puck and jump into the play and is fairly unflappable under duress.
Had a slow start to the 2013-2014 campaign and performed better overall for country than he did for club. Although he has some offensive tools, he's not a power play quarterback at this point in his career. Sometimes struggles giving and receiving passes.
Name: Anthony DeAngelo
Weight: 175 lbs
Club: Sarnia (OHL)
Wow, here's a definitive swing for the fences.
With DeAngelo, the talent is unquestionable. The Philadelphia native ripped up the OHL with 15 goals and 71 points in 51 games this season. Nobody questions that, on talent alone, DeAngelo was one of the 10-15 best players in this year's class. His skating and puckhandling skills allow him to dismantle opposing defenses and gain the offensive zone with ease when he chooses to carry it. He's also got excellent vision and passing ability, and runs a power play with ruthless efficiency and a heavy righty shot. Indeed, Red Line Report ranked DeAngelo the 7th best pure skater and 13th best pure goal scorer in this draft, the latter of which is surely worth a double take given that DeAngelo is a defenseman.
The negatives, athletically, center on DeAngelo's stature, which leads to his being overwhelmed down low in the defensive zone, and his tendency to surrender neutral zone turnovers at bad times while pushing the pace. As a consequence, he posted a cringe-worthy -34 rating this season with the Sting. And yet, as cringe-worthy as that is, it pales in comparison to the red flags that surround DeAngelo off the ice. DeAngelo hasn't exactly mastered the team concept, as evidenced by his verbal abuse of a teammate with slurs that led to a suspension by the OHL. This is a young man who has been branded by many as a me-first player who the Lightning are gambling they can reorient into a productive member of the organization. If they can, Red Line Report projects him as a tremendously skilled offensive d-man and power play quarterback with comparisons to a lite version of Paul Coffey. If they can't get DeAngelo to coexist within the team concept, he'll be a bust, and one you have to worry will drag down teammates with him. Hey coaches: this is why they pay you the big bucks.
Highly skilled offensive defenseman and power-play QB
Same kind of game as Paul Coffey but, you know, not Paul Coffey
Pete Choquette contributed to this article
Looking Back on Day One, Looking Ahead to Day Two
Remember how we said in our pre-draft preview there's an age-old question at draft time about whether a team drafts for need versus the best player available (BPA)? Remember how we said that, in all likelihood, the team that selected Jonathan Drouin over Seth Jones when it clearly needed a righty d-man would surely take the BPA? You do? Yeah, well, so much for that. The Lightning reverted back to the needs-based approach they employed in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft when they selected Slater Koekkoek, despite red flags on the health of Koekkoek's shoulder. Tonight, holding the 19th overall pick, the Lightning again made a needs-based pick and again chose to bypass some considerable red flags:
PHILADELPHIA –The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired defenseman Jason Garrison, the rights to forward Jeff Costello and a seventh-round pick at the 2015 NHL Entry draft from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for their second-round pick in 2014, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Garrison, 6-foot-3, 222 pounds, played in 81 games with the Canucks last season, recording seven goals, four power-play goals and 33 points. He ranked fifth on the team overall for points and led all Vancouver blue-liners. Garrison averaged 20:53 in ice time per game in 2013-14, which ranked fourth among Canuck defensemen.
A native of White Rock, British Columbia, Garrison has played in 318 career NHL games with Vancouver and the Florida Panthers. During his career he has amassed 38 goals, 16 on the power play, and 108 points. He finished third among all NHL defensemen for goal scoring in 2011-12 with 16. He has appeared in a total of eight playoff games, recording a goal and three points.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward J.T. Brown to a two-year, one-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Brown, 5-foot-10, 172 pounds, appeared in 63 games with the Lightning last season, posting four goals and 19 points while averaging 13:02 in ice time per game. He ranked fourth among Tampa Bay rookies for assists and points. Brown also played in all four Stanley Cup Playoff games in 2014, notching two assists. He was tied for the team lead for helpers and ranked tied for fourth on the team for points. Brown also saw his average ice time increase to 14:59 during the postseason.
With the draft around the corner and the most significant free agent signing in the books, it’s time to take note of what Steve Yzerman and the Lightning have to work with at all levels.
The caveat here is that spots are earned in workouts and camp and not on computer screens, so this is just fun speculation and subject to change.
Here’s a look at what the Lightning would probably need to look like if they are to become a conference contender:
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Ryan Callahan to a six-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
"We are pleased to announce that we've reached an agreement on a six-year contract extension with Ryan,” Yzerman said. “He's proven to be a fierce competitor and outstanding leader who fits very well with our team."
“I couldn’t be happier to be part of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization for the next six years and I am excited for this new chapter of my career,” Callahan said. “Tampa Bay has been a great place to live and play from the day I got there. As soon as the season ended I knew it was a place I wanted to be.”
By Pete Choquette (@jollymeangiant)
As noted in Bolt Prospects’ 2013-2014 Final Rankings, this past season was a banner year for the Lightning’s prospect system. Ten prospects, including eight prospects from our top-25 rankings and another two overage prospects, ultimately became contributors to the big club on their way to a surprising berth in the NHL playoffs.
That success may lull Lightning fans into a false sense of security about the team’s prospect system, but a look at the struggles of the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL this past season and a look at the significant drop-off after the first half-dozen remaining prospects in our top-25 rankings reveals there is much work to be done to restock the cupboard. Fortunately, the Lightning will go into this summer’s June draft with three top-60 draft picks, including a conditional first round pick acquired from the New York Rangers in the Martin St. Louis trade that was escalated from a second round pick by virtue of the Rangers advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.