Submitted by pete on August 15, 2005 - 09:03
Boltprospects staff member Chad Schnarr has learned from the Tampa Bay Lightning that neither they nor Nikita Alexeev's agent knows about his reported signing with Avangard Omsk. Both parties are awaiting official confirmation of the signing. The question now becomes: Did Nikita Alexeev sign a contract with Omsk without an agent? Also, Boltprospects has learned that despite overtures from the Lightning Matt Smaby has decided to stay in school at North Dakota.
Submitted by pete on August 14, 2005 - 19:43
Team Russia [url=http://www.russianprospects.com/public/tournament.php?tour_id=2006014&anchor=Main]has announced it's initial roster for the Czech leg of the EuroTour[/url] and it features two Tampa Bay Lightning prospects: LW Anton But and C Dimitry Kazionov.
Submitted by pete on August 13, 2005 - 11:43
In his Friday column Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune [url=http://bolts.tbo.com/lightning/MGBD8PES9CE.html]speculated the team's cap situation may force the Lightning to carry one or two rookie defensemen on the roster on opening night.[/url] That's a pretty fair expectation and at the very minimum I suspected the Lightning would put one of the rookies into the #7 defenseman slot at the league minimum for economic reasons. Erlendsson lists several prospects as potential options and, in particular, highlights Swiss stay-at-home defenseman Timo Helbling. Helbling, you might remember, checked in at #5 on my personal list of overage Lightning prospects. Here's my handicapping of the situation:
Submitted by pete on August 13, 2005 - 11:37
Russianprospects.com is reporting [url=http://www.russianprospects.com/public/tournament.php?tour_id=2006011&anchor=Main]Nikita Alexeev has signed a one-year deal with Russian Superleague club Avangard Omsk.[/url] Alexeev had been training with Omsk under a tryout contract for the last month but the Lightning have extended a qualifying offer to Nikita and it appeared he would be returning to North America this season. However, with Alexeev signing a deal in Russia it may be fair to speculate if Alexeev doesn't win an NHL spot out of camp he may bolt North America rather than play another season in the AHL. Story developing.
Submitted by pete on August 10, 2005 - 18:36
Lost in the shuffle of the signings of Dimitry Afanasenkov, Dan Boyle, Sean Burke and Rob DiMaio yesterday is some of the [url=http://www.tampabaylightning.com/prdetail.cfm?pressreleaseID=1115&category=3]reshuffling that occured in the front office on Channelside today.[/url] Dave Heitz who primarily scouted the US prep school and NCAA ranks for the Lightning is being moved to Full Time Professional Scout to compensate for the loss of Rick Patterson to Anaheim. Also impacting the scouting and development ranks is the hiring of former Lightning goaltender Corey Schwab as Associate Goaltending Coach and Scout. The move makes strategic sense for a Lightning team that just signed two raw rookie prospects in Jonathan Boutin and Gerald Coleman who will need hands on guidance Jeff Reese probably won't have time to provide while attending to John Grahame as he assumes the full-time starting role for the first time in Tampa.
Submitted by pete on August 10, 2005 - 13:45
Alexander Polushin is already starting to answer his critics with strong play in his tryout with Severstal Cherepovets after he was let go by CSKA a month ago. Alex Beleshenko of [url=http://www.russianprospects.com/public/article.php?article_id=329&anchor=Main]Russianprospects.com reports that Severstal Cherepovets won the LenVo Superleague preseason tournament[/url] last week going 4-0-1 in five contests to secure top on the table. Coach Plyuschev, who coached Alex Polushin to World Junior Championship gold is following a proven formula reuniting Polushin with former Team Russia linemate and Calgary Flames prospect Yuri Trubachev. Polushin started the tournament with a goal and two assists in it's first three games and he and Trubachev's three points in five tournament games put them one off the tournament best pace of four points set by three other players including Detroit prospect Igor Grigorienko. The LenVo tournament this year featured Severstal Cherepovets, SKA St. Petersburg, Moscow Dynamo and Sibir Novosibirsk of the Russian Superleague as well as Finnish SM-liiga club Espoo Blues.
Submitted by pete on August 6, 2005 - 11:37
Boltprospects has received confirmation from the Tampa Bay Lightning that Maxime Boisclair of the Chicoutimi Sangueneens of the QMJHL has signed a tryout contract with the team for the Traverse City prospect tournament. Boisclair, who turned 20 in February, finished 4th in the QMJHL in scoring this season tallying 51 goals, 57 assists and 108 points. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Boisclair has always been known as a fiesty agitator who plays a very physical game along the wall and isn't afraid to drop the gloves when called upon. This year, however, he showed he possesses some skill as well by eclipsing his previous best season point total by 72 points while leading Chicoutimi into the QMJHL finals with 17 points in 17 playoff games. A good Traverse City camp by Boisclair could propel him into becoming this year's Andre Deveaux and earn him a contract and a spot with the Springfield Falcons.
Submitted by pete on August 1, 2005 - 17:17
Boltprospects has learned that, true to speculation, the Tampa Bay Lightning do intend to extend 2005 6th round pick Marek Kvapil a contract offer. Kvapil, who turned 20 in January, is a talented Czech forward who put up solid numbers on a woeful Saginaw team in the OHL this season. Expect him to be given every opportunity to make the Springfield Falcons given the team's unfortunate lack of speed and skill up front last season.
Submitted by pete on August 1, 2005 - 16:58
Erik Erlensson of the Tribune [url=http://sports.tbo.com/sports/MGBGE7D5UBE.html]suggests the Lightning may move to sign some of their college prospects like Matt Smaby, Brady Greco and Jay Rosehill [/url]to build up their minor league depth at the position. Lightning GM Jay Feaster has made it known he thinks the NCAA ranks are too soft for his taste and [url=http://www.nhl.com/futures/features/prospects_tam040705.html]hinted strongly to NHL.com a Smaby signing may be in the offing.[/url] When Andreas Holmqvist's return to Linkopings in Sweden freed up a roster spot in Springfield it all but sealed the deal that the Lightning would attempt to get Smaby to go pro.