2nd Round #47 Overall, Dana Tyrell

With their 2nd round pick, #47 overall the Lightning select:

C/RW Dana Tyrell, 5'10" 185 lbs, Prince George (WHL)
72 GP, 30-26-56, 51 PIM

Tyrell is a high character player who has a junkyard dog mentality. He's incredibly tough for a small player and loves to go to the high traffic areas and crash the net. He has the versatility to play center and right wing and is universally praised for his leadership abilities, coachability, tenacity and versatility. Skates well too. Plays in all situations for Prince George. Solid, safe, nearly bust proof pick. He was selected with several top Canadian prospects to play for Canada in the Canada-Russia Super Series this Fall.

Rankings:
NHL CSS: #15 (NA Skaters)
Redline Report: #30
ISS: #35
THN: #34

Draft Day Two: Who's Left

Like I said, the only thing that's for certain in this draft is that nothing's for certain. For those of you who sat through the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft Friday night (a bizarre decision by NHL higher ups hell bent on running the league into the ground, I think) you witnessed one of the more scrambled draft boards in recent memory as several teams went well off the board with one of the top 30 selections in the draft. For the Lightning, they made an appearance, but little else, and with no guarantee the Panthers won't exercise their option on pick #47 (the Gratton re-re-acquisition) the Lightning might not have much to do until the 75th and 77th overall picks in the third round. Still, if you like speculation, here's speculation. In no particular order, here are some of the top forward prospects still remaining in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft heading into day two:

CHL Import Draft Set For Next Wednesday

The 2007 NHL Entry Draft taking place Friday and Saturday aren't the only drafts taking place in the next week. Next Wednesday, June 27th, the CHL will hold their 2007 Import Draft which takes on added importance as rumors persist that 2006 1st round pick Riku Helenius might cross the pond to play Canadian junior hockey next season.

Lightning Sign Justin Fletcher

Also in today's St. Pete Times, Damian Crisdotero breaks down the Lightning system by NHL readiness. One surprise on the list: defenseman Justin Fletcher from St. Cloud State who played well during an ATO stint with the Springfield Falcons at the end of last season. According to Crisdotero, Fletcher has signed a one year deal with the Lightning organization.

There have also been rumors that the Lightning are interested in bringing Falcons tryout forward Jacob Micflikier into the fold in Norfolk as well, although nothing substantial has surfaced as of yet.

Cristodero: Koshechkin Staying in Russia

Damian Cristodero of the St. Pete Times is reporting on his blog goaltender Vasily Koshechkin will stay in Russia this season. Crisdotero cites a conversation with Koshechkin's agent Jay Grossman in which the netminder expressed a sense of obligation to honor the final year of his Superleague contract. Koshechkin's contract was recent sold from Lada Togliatti to Ak Bars Kazan of the Russian Superleague. Early reports from this summer that had Koshechkin on the way to CSKA turned out to be unsubstantiated.

O'Brien Inks Two-Year Deal with Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning issued a press release today reporting that the team has re-signed defenseman Shane O'Brien to a two-year deal. The deal is reported to pay O'Brien $2M over the next 2 years, with $875k coming this season and $1.125M due the following. O'Brien's NHL salary last season paid $495k.

Back Online

If you are reading this, then you know BoltProspects was offline for about 24 hours following an epic battle between an electrical storm and some internet hardware. The lightning won.

As Chad put it, the irony of ironies is that BoltProspects.com was taken offline by lightning. Go figure.

We'll were back and looking forward to Pete and Chad's coverage and analysis of Tampa's picks in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft this weekend.

Bolt Prospects 2007 NHL Entry Draft Preview

"The only thing that's for sure is nothing's for sure."

Goertzen on Rebuilding Forward Depth: "We Have Some Work to Do"

For fans and followers of the Lightning farm system, there's a very telling article in the St. Pete Times today by Damian Cristodero detailing the condition of the Lightning's prospects, in particular the forwards, as the club approaches the 2007 draft.

The story includes honest and objective opinions from Lightning GM Jay Feaster and Head Scout Jake Goertzen. Cristodero also includes the opinions of Barry Trapp, former head scout of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Times: Emphasis on Forward Thinking

Artyukhin, Agent Turn Down 3-year Deal

According to the St. Pete Times today, disgruntled winger Evgeny Artyukhin and his agent, Mark Gandler, have turned down a three year offer from the Lightning. The Times reported the deal was the same contract recently signed by Nick Tarnasky.

Quote:
"We were told, " Feaster said, "that they are not the same player."

The Lightning's offer, which would have paid $500, 000, $525, 000 and $550, 000, was a bump from its previously refused offer of one-year, $475, 000.

"I thought it was a fair offer on our part and something that would be attractive to the player, but it appears that's not the case, " Feaster said. "I thought this might be a way to move off the position of a one-year contract and show the player we are serious and we do like him."

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