With the draft around the corner and the most significant free agent signing in the books, it’s time to take note of what Steve Yzerman and the Lightning have to work with at all levels.
The caveat here is that spots are earned in workouts and camp and not on computer screens, so this is just fun speculation and subject to change.
Here’s a look at what the Lightning would probably need to look like if they are to become a conference contender:
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Ryan Callahan to a six-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
"We are pleased to announce that we've reached an agreement on a six-year contract extension with Ryan,” Yzerman said. “He's proven to be a fierce competitor and outstanding leader who fits very well with our team."
“I couldn’t be happier to be part of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization for the next six years and I am excited for this new chapter of my career,” Callahan said. “Tampa Bay has been a great place to live and play from the day I got there. As soon as the season ended I knew it was a place I wanted to be.”
By Pete Choquette (@jollymeangiant)
As noted in Bolt Prospects’ 2013-2014 Final Rankings, this past season was a banner year for the Lightning’s prospect system. Ten prospects, including eight prospects from our top-25 rankings and another two overage prospects, ultimately became contributors to the big club on their way to a surprising berth in the NHL playoffs.
That success may lull Lightning fans into a false sense of security about the team’s prospect system, but a look at the struggles of the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL this past season and a look at the significant drop-off after the first half-dozen remaining prospects in our top-25 rankings reveals there is much work to be done to restock the cupboard. Fortunately, the Lightning will go into this summer’s June draft with three top-60 draft picks, including a conditional first round pick acquired from the New York Rangers in the Martin St. Louis trade that was escalated from a second round pick by virtue of the Rangers advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.
For those paying attention to the past three drafts by Steve Yzerman and Al Murray, the Tampa brain trust seems to cast an eye on at least one juniors or European player that can provide immediate help to the AHL affiliate or at least fast tracked to help the following season.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have resigned forward Alex Killorn to a two-year contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Killorn, 24, played in all 82 games for the Lightning last season, collecting 17 goals and 41 points to go along with 63 penalty minutes. He was one of three players on the Bolts to skate in all 82 games. Killorn ranked sixth on the Lightning for goals with 17 in his first full season in the NHL. He notched six points in the first five games of the 2013-14 season, including the overtime-winner in Buffalo on October 8.