With their 4th round pick, #107 overall, the Lightning select:
C Mitch Fadden, 6'0" 174 lbs, Lethbridge (WHL)
71 GP, 36-48-84, 54 PIM
The Lightning go for an overage player by selecting talented center Mitch Fadden out of Lethbridge who was passed over in last year's draft after a disappointing season in which he was dumped by Seattle to Lethbridge in the WHL. At 16-17 Fadden was considered a top talent but his dispassionate play saw him fall so far out of favor that no team even touched him in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. 2006-2007, however, was a season of redemption for Fadden who was second on the Hurricanes in scoring with an impressive 36 goals and 84 points in 71 games, good for 7th in the WHL in scoring. Fadden has a good all around game and is considered a talented pure sniper. The question is whether or not his motivation issues will resurface. He could be one of the bigger steals of this draft as he was considered a lottery pick type talent before falling off the map last season. Skill doesn't evaporate though and the move to Lethbridge seems to have suited Fadden.
NHL CSS: #51 (North American Skaters)
With their 3rd round pick, #77 overall, the Lightning select:
C Alexander Killorn, 6'0" 161 lbs, Deerfield (USHS)
23 GP, 19-14-33, 56 PIM
The Lightning hope to strike gold in the US high school ranks for the second year in a row selecting Alexander Killorn out of the Deerfield Academy program. Killorn, the youngest player in the 2007 draft pool, combines great skating ability and playmaking ability with a surprising amount of grit for such a slight frame. Killorn has committed to play for Ted Donato for Harvard in the ECACHL in two years and currently plans to take the Kevin Quick route and stay in high school one more year before moving on to college. Killorn is a long term project who could have high end returns.
NHL CSS: #55 (North American Skaters)
Redline Report: #62
With the 3rd round pick acquired from Anaheim in the Shane O'Brien deal, #75 overall, the Lightning select:
LW Luca Cunti, 6'0" 185 lbs, GCK (SUI NLB)
5 GP, 1-1-2, 2 PIM
Here's your swing for the fences folks. Cunti was considered one of the wild cards going into this draft and there were some who believed he was the best pure offensive talent in this draft. But, he plays in Switzerland which isn't exactly a hotbed for NHL scoring liners and he hasn't played much at the men's league level yet. Still, he's a captivating mix of speed and skill. Considered one-dimensional at this stage of his career. Cunti doesn't take the body, doesn't backcheck. He just scores, a lot. There are rumors Luca may be interested in crossing the pond to play US college hockey and could play in the USHL for Chicago next season. Erik Erlendsson blogs he's interested in St. Cloud State and Clarkson. Or, he could go the Canadian junior route as well.
NHL CSS: #12 (European Skaters)
Redline Report: #54
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.
NHL CSS: #15 (NA Skaters)
Redline Report: #30
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.