This week's edition of the BoltProspects Podcast includes the following topics:
· The past and future of Richard Panik
· How good can Brett Connolly be?
· Vladdy Namestnikov, NHLer and Lightning posterchild
· Andrej Sustr's upside
· Former prospects Dustin Tokarski and Cory Conacher with big opportunities in front of them
· Lightning season prediction
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 3 @ Sherbrooke Phoenix 4
C Cameron Darcy, CB: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 0 Hits, 2 SOG, 7/16 FO
2013-2014 Season: 65 GP, 35-47-82, +3, 51 PIM
Darcy, Cape Breton’s leading scorer last season, had an assist in his season debut after being sent back to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League by AHL Syracuse this week. Darcy is one of four overagers (age 20) for the Eagles now as the club thought Darcy would be in the pros this year. All four are impact players, so decisions must be made in Sydney. As for Wednesday’s game, Sherbrooke scored with one second left in regulation to steal the win, 4-3.
Dinamo Riga 1 vs. Bratislava 4
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, DNP
Season totals: 6 GP, 2-2-2, 0 SO, 2.48 GAA, .914 sv%
Former Penguins second rounder Matt Murley had a pair of goals to lead slovan to a 4-1 win over Riga. Jaroslav Janus sat backup to ex-Flyers farmhand Johan Backlund in the win.
Sergeev is a bit of a surprise as he spent all of his rookie season last year in Syracuse. He's a righty puckmover who showed signs of improvement toward the end of last season. He was pushed out by AHL rookies Dylan Blujus and Jake Dotchin, both right-handed shots. Blujus is more of a puckmover than Dotchin, but Dotchin's game translates better to the pros than Sergeev and Dotchin was rewarded by the Lightning with a preseason game appearance this fall.
TSN's Bob McKenzie reports the Tampa Bay Lightning have waived one-time highly ranked prospect Richard Panik. If Panik clears waivers by noon on Thursday he'll be assigned to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.
The move signals the apparent end of The Panik Project, which began when the enigmatic Slovakian turned pro before the 2011-2012 season. Speaking with Bolt Prospects before that season, then-Norfolk coach Jon Cooper said his job was to find what motivated Panik personally, surround him with proper veteran leadership, then monitor his development closely. After a slow start, Cooper got the best out of Panik, and the 6-2 winger responded with 19 goals and 41 points in 64 games. He disappeared in the playoffs while the Admirals won the Calder Cup, accumulating just six points (five goals) in 18 games. A year later, Panik and his game had resurfaced and he had 22 goals and 41 points with the Syracuse Crunch in 51 games, earning an All-Star spot and a promotion to Tampa Bay to reunite with Cooper, who had been named Lightning coach late in the year. Panik had nine points in 25 games, then starred in the AHL playoffs for the Crunch, dominating games for the Calder Cup finalists.