We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Bolt Prospect of the Week for January 14, 2014 is … Brendan O’Donnell, University of North Dakota (NCAA – USA).
Brendan O’Donnell is exhibit-A for why teams spend a late round draft pick on an under-the-radar high school or junior-A player and then allow them extended development time in college.
The Lightning’s 2010 sixth round pick from the Winnipeg South Blues of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League is now a senior at the University of North Dakota. After playing in Penticton of the BCHL the season after he was drafted, and then a mostly injury-plagued career with UND, the 6-foot, 193-pound left wing turned the proverbial corner late last year in his development. He continued that into the Lightning’s summer prospect camp, where he was one of the standouts in front of his potential future bosses.
A lot was expected of O’Donnell as a senior leader with UND this season as he was to be in more of an offensive role than previous years. Things didn’t start out as fast as he may have liked, but like his collegiate career, it took some time for things to come together.