This season Bolt Prospects introduced our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their on-ice contributions.
We wanted to highlight prospects throughout the year to help fans get better acquainted with the next round of Lightning stars while recognizing the prospectâ€™s achievement on the ice.
This weekâ€™s BP Prospect of the Week award goes to â€¦ Mark Barberio , D, Norfolk Admirals (AHL).
It was quite a week for Barberio, the Lightningâ€™s sixth round pick in 2008. First the defenseman scored the game winning goal last Tuesday when the Admirals squeaked by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Penguins 2-1, then he added a goal on Friday night in a close 3-1 win over Binghamton. On Saturday he was scoreless and plus-1 as Norfolk rallied late to beat the B-Sens 4-1 to extend their winning streak to 25 games.
Barberioâ€™s most significant achievement this past week was the announcement that the second-year pro would be receiving the Eddie Shore Award as the AHLâ€™s top defenseman.
For an NHL team desperately in need a reliable offensive defenseman, you can bet they were cheering on Channelside Drive in Tampa. Barberio may be a year away from making his mark in Tampa, however. He has to get stronger, which is achievable this summer, but he also has to improve his awareness in the defensive third. He could learn at the NHL level as a third pair or No.7 defenseman, but with Marc-Andre Bergeron  coming back for another year, itâ€™s likely Barberio gets prime minutes in the AHL to start next season.
Previous BP Prospects of the Week:
Tyler Johnson , Norfolk Admirals (AHL) - April 4, 2012 
Norfolk Admirals Hockey Club (AHL) - March 27, 2012 
Richard Panik , Norfolk Admirals (AHL) - March 21, 2012 
Tyler Johnson, Norfolk Admirals (AHL) - March 13, 2012 
Danick Gauthier, Saint John (QMJHL) - March 6, 2012 
Matt Peca, Quinnipiac (NCAA) - February 29, 2012 
Pat Nagle , Florida (ECHL) - February 21, 2012 
Alex Hutchings , Florida (ECHL) - February 14, 2012 
Alex Killorn , Harvard (NCAA) - February 6, 2012 
Adam Wilcox , Tri-City (USHL) and Alex Killorn, Harvard (NCAA) - January 30, 2012 
Nikita Kucherov , CSKA Jr. (Russia) - January 24, 2012 
Riku Helenius , JYP (Finland) - January 16, 2012 
Brett Connolly , Canada (U20 WJC) - January 10, 2012 
*Due to the Christmas break when few games below the NHL level were played, no POTW award was given.
Mark Barberio, Norfolk Admirals (AHL) - December 19, 2011 
Vladislav Namestnikov , London Knights (OHL) - December 12, 2011 
Tyler Johnson, Norfolk Admirals (AHL) - December 5, 2011 
Alex Killorn, Harvard (NCAA) - November 28, 2011 
Nikita Kucherov, Team Russia/CSKA Jr. (MHL) - November 21, 2011 
Vladislav Namestnikov, London Knights (OHL) - November 14, 2011 
Dustin Tokarski , Norfolk Admirals (AHL) - November 6, 2011 
Riku Helenius, JYP (Finland) - October 30, 2011 
Matthew Peca , Quinnipiac Bobcats - October 23, 2011 
Radko Gudas , Norfolk Admirals - October 16, 2011 
Carter Ashton , Norfolk Admirals - October 9, 2011 
Brett Connolly, Tampa Bay Lightning - October 2, 2011 
Mattias Ritola , Tampa Bay Lightning - September 25, 2011