Submitted by Ken on July 25, 2006 - 20:22
I'll admit I spent much more time watching the goalies and d'men than the forwards, but I tell about what I saw. The top performer was Desharnais, the most opportunistic was Croxton. The top line was Kvapil, Lawrence, Smolenak, although only Kapvil touched the score sheet during a partial line change. Smolenak - Looks like Affy. Good size, filled out, strong on his skates, shows some offensive skill that will tantalize us. Will he score in the show or be a 3rd liner? Should see at somr point this year. Kvapil - Almost fully mature looking. Looks bigger than was led to believe. Easy E's article mentioned he has bulked. Attacked the net well.
Submitted by Ken on July 25, 2006 - 19:35
I'd agree with the experts, there appears to be a good core that will one day play in the NHL. Having followed this team since the beginning I've seen a lot of young ones. At this age it can be hard to judge this group. There are none with Hamrlik type skills, but who will be Kubina's and Ranger's vs. Bannister's and McBain's? My impressions based on today: Rogers - Looks like Ranger minus the puckhandling. Is playing solid positionally and defensive minded. Seems he could adapt in 5 - 10 NHL games like Ranger did. Does have an injury history and lacks some experience accordingly. I think he'll impress
Submitted by pete on July 25, 2006 - 18:18
Echoing many of the sentiments of Bolt Prospects blog writers today, Erik Erlendsson of the Trib [url=http://sports.tboblogs.com/index.php/sports/related/C189/]has posted some of his comments on the first day of prospect camp.[/url] In general, there were some very positive notes made by Erik today:
Submitted by chad on July 25, 2006 - 08:58
According to Erik Erlendsson and the Tampa Tribune, Mark Tobin has been added to the roster for this week's prospect and tryout camp. Erlendsson confirmed to Bolt Prospects that Tobin was on the latest roster the Tribune received last week. Tobin was not on an earlier list provided by the Lightning. Mercyhurst's Dave Borrelli was on the first list, but does not appear on the most recent list. Tobin, a second round pick of the Bolts in 2004, was not signed by the Lightning this summer and allowed to re-enter the draft. He was not selected. According to General Manager Jay Feaster, the club tried to sign Tobin in the summer of 2005, but Tobin and his agent rejected the Lightning's final offer and talks never resumed. In 2005-2006, the 6-3, 211-pound Tobin recorded a career high 26 goals for the last place Rimouski Oceanic. He also surpassed his career high in points, by one, with 51 points in 67 games. Tobin was among the QMJHL's hit leaders, but also led the league in minus rating with a -51. The Lightning concluded that Tobin's upside was not significant enough to warrant another contract offer at season's end.
On Bolt Prospects, we've always advocated the wisdom of adding more emphasis to the Lightning's developmetal system and for the first time since the Fall of 2002, the Lightning will be holding a prospect camp. From a personal standpoint, I went to every day of that 2002 camp where I first got to watch a young defenseman from Oshawa named [url=paul-ranger]Paul Ranger[/url] who I went away convinced had a shot at making the NHL. Almost four years later the Lighhtning have done a lot to help fix what was, at that time, a dysfunctional developmental apparatus. They've been a regular at the Traverse City prospect tournament over the past three years and, more importantly, they've locked up a full affiliation with the AHL's Springfield Falcons. They've even gone a step further in buying into the ECHL's Johnstown Chiefs giving the club additional developmental spots and the opportunity to take a flyer on undrafted free agents who have fallen through the cracks. The 20 tryout players who are being invited to this camp are part of that effort.
Submitted by chad on July 19, 2006 - 07:07
Bolt Prospects would like to give a special thanks to Lightning Head Scout Jake Goertzen for making the following list of confirmed prospect camp invitees available. Goertzen stated that many of these players are competing for roster spots for the Traverse City prospects tournament coming up in September. So, without further ado...
Submitted by pete on July 18, 2006 - 21:54
Bolt Prospects will no doubt have the full list of invitees to the Lightning's prospect development camp very soon but already some names are beginning to trickle out onto the internet. The Everett Herald [url=http://www.heraldnet.com/stories/06/06/02/100spo_f1tips001.cfm]is reporting Silvertips captain Torrie Wheat has been invited to the camp.[/url] The 6'2" 180 lbs right wing was captain of the 'Tips last season scoring 16 goals and 48 points in 43 games with 28 penalty minutes. Rumor also has Clayton Barthel of the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL, a 6'3" 200 lbs defenseman, also making the list of invitees. Given the lack of room under the Lightning's 50-man roster any potential signee would likely have to ink an AHL level contract with the Springfield Falcons to be retained in the organization. Last year the team invited defensemen Steven Whitely of Belleville of the OHL and defenseman Ben Chaisson of Halifax of the QMJHL to join their rookie team in Traverse City. A year prior to that the Lightning signed invitee [url=andre-deveaux]Andre Deveaux[/url] to a contract straight out of his tryout at Traverse City, proving that it is possible to win a job in these tryout settings.
Submitted by chad on July 18, 2006 - 19:41
It turns out the rumor of Anton But potentially coming to Tampa Bay was just that - a rumor. Bolt Prospects has learned that the Lightning are not actively pursuing But. In fact, Tampa Bay Vice President and General Manager Jay Feaster stated, "The last time [the Lightning's] Russian scout spoke with him, [But] wasn't overly keen on coming over to play in North America." The Lightning will lose But's rights next summer should the Russian Federation ratify the IIHF-NHL transfer agreement. With a scoring line spot open in Tampa and But's release from Yaroslavl, it would have seemed like the perfect time to bring over the scoring winger. However, "at this point in time," that does not appear to be the case.
Submitted by pete on July 18, 2006 - 17:18
Despite attempts to bring him back into the fold earlier this summer, Shane Willis has left the Lightning organization and signed with former club Carolina on a one year two-way deal. The right winger split last season between Davos of the Swiss league and Linkopings of the Swedish Elitserien.