Bolt Prospects 2006-2007 Final Rankings
2006-2007 was a difficult season for the prospects of the Tampa Bay Lightning. After two years of modest improvement with their full affiliation in Springfield of the AHL and a large crop of talented junior scorers coming into the organization, expectations were that this was the season the Falcons and the Lightning organization would finally turn the corner. Expectations were not met, and the Falcons took a large step backward with a miserable second half of the season that led to the dissolving of the affiliation. The Lightning also saw ties severed with their ECHL affiliate in Johnstown after two years of control over hockey operations only led to a pair of 5th place divisional finishes.
The Bolt Prospects 2006-2007 Final Rankings reflect the painful lessons of a campaign which, for the Lightning's minor league system, was one of the worst in recent memory. As a consequence of overall poor play indicating a lack of depth, the Bolt Prospects staff voted unanimously to trim the Top-25 rankings to 20 for the first time in the history of the site. Make no mistake, the decision is an indictment of what we saw from the Lightning's prospects in 2006-2007. There are passengers in this organization, and we suspect several of them will begin to be culled from the organizational roster during the off season. The rankings are also an indictment of the promising class of young rookie forwards who failed so spectacularly to make an impact in their pro debuts. On the bright side though, they also show the strength the organization has developed at the goaltending and defenseman positions. Of our top ten prospects, only one (Blair Jones) is a forward, while four are goaltenders and five are blueliners.
So, without further adieu, here are the Bolt Prospects 2006-2007 Final Rankings. They are the last of a year we'd rather forget and a starting point on the way to 2007-2008, a new season and a new affiliation with Norfolk of the AHL that we hope will bring redemption for some of the organization's young talent.
As of 6/02/08
As of 6/02/08
1|Jussi Jokinen|LW|5.11|188|Tampa Bay (NHL)
2|Nick Tarnasky|LW|6.01|218|Tampa Bay (NHL)
3|Ryan Craig|LW/C|6.02|220|Tampa Bay (NHL) (RFA)
4|Karl Stewart|LW/C|5.11|180|Tampa Bay (NHL) (RFA)
5|Justin Keller|LW|5.11|195|Norfolk (AHL)
6|Radek Smolenak|LW|6.02|180|Norfolk (AHL)
7|Brandon Elliott|LW/D|6.04|225|Mississippi (ECHL) (RFA)
As of 6/02/08
1|Martin St. Louis|RW|5.09|185|Tampa Bay (NHL)
2|Michel Ouellet|RW|6.00|201|Tampa Bay (NHL)
3|Jason Ward|W/C|6.02|205|Tampa Bay (NHL)
4|Brandon Segal|RW|6.02|210|Norfolk (AHL)
5|Chris Lawrence|C/RW|6.04|199|Norfolk (AHL)
6|Zbynek Hrdel|RW|6.02|194|Mississippi (ECHL) (RFA)
7|Mike Egener|RW/D|6.04|213|Mississippi(ECHL) (RFA)
As of 6/02/08
1|Dan Boyle|D|5.11|190|Tampa Bay (NHL)
2|Paul Ranger|D|6.02|215|Tampa Bay (NHL)
3|Filip Kuba|D|6.03|205|Tampa Bay (NHL)
4|Alexandre Picard|D|6.02|220|Tampa Bay (NHL) (RFA)
5|Shane O'Brien|D|6.02|237|Tampa Bay (NHL)
6|Brad Lukowich|D|6.01|205|Tampa Bay (NHL)
7|Mike Lundin|D|6.01|180|Tampa Bay (NHL)
As of 6/02/08
1|Mike Smith|G|6.03|210|Tampa Bay (NHL)
2|Karri Ramo|G|6.02|192|Tampa Bay (NHL)
3|Marc Denis|G|6.01|193|Norfolk (AHL)
4|Jonathan Boutin|G|6.01|210|Norfolk (AHL) (RFA)
5|Ryan Munce|G|6.02|180|Mississippi (ECHL) (RFA)
6|Riku Helenius|G|6.03|202|Seattle (WHL)
|Vasily Koshechkin|G|6.06|210|Kazan (RUS) (2002)
This books contains the organizational depth charts for the Tampa Bay Lightning at each position.
With the departure of Gerald Coleman to Anaheim's organization in the Shane O'Brien trade, we have removed Coleman from the prospects page. As a consequence, all prospects behind Coleman have moved up one spot each and we have selected winger Zbynek Hrdel to occupy the #25 spot in our rankings. Coleman is the second top-25 prospect to be traded since Bolt Prospects released it's Midterm Rankings in January, Andre Deveaux being the first.
As a consequence of today's trade with Atlanta which moved Bolt Prospects' #23 ranked prospect, Andre Deveaux, out of the organization, Bolt Prospects would like to announce an update of our Midterm Rankings and the prospect page. Deveaux's subtraction moves the #24 and #25 ranked prospects, Denis Kazionov and Marek Bartanus, up one slot in the rankings. Adam Henrich will now move into the top-25 at the #25 spot.
In addition, Stephen Baby's name has been added to the prospect page as an overage prospect. Baby, who turned 27 yesterday, is well over the 24 year old on opening night requirement to qualify as a regular prospect.
Kyle Wanvig, by virtue of the 51 games he played with the Minnesota Wild in 2005-2006, is considered graduated by Bolt Prospects criteria and will not be added to the prospects page. Any prospect who plays 41 or more games in a single season is considered a graduate by site rules.
Bolt Prospects would like to announce the release of its 2006-2007 Midterm Rankings for prospects in the Lightning organization. There have been multiple changes since the Preliminary Rankings we released in October, most notably a new top prospect in the organization, AHL All-Star Karri Ramo, and the graduation of top ten prospect Nick Tarnasky who played his 41st NHL game of the season just this past weekend. Multiple prospects also managed to crack the rankings for the first time by virtue of their play so far this season.
Just a quick reminder on how we differentiate between "alumni", "prospect" and "overage prospect". Any player who plays 41 games or more at the NHL level in any single season or 82 or more total career NHL games will be considered graduated and will be moved to the "Bolt Prospects Alumni" section of the prospects page. With Tarnasky's full-time promotion to the NHL and prior graduations by Doug Janik and Eric Perrin, the alumni list has now grown to six players over the span of the past year and a half since we first put up the prospects page and profile content. Any player under the age of 24 on opening night of the 2006-2007 season who hasn't met the criteria for graduation is considered a "prospect" and is elligible for our rankings. Any player 24 or older who has not yet met the criteria for graduation is considered an "overage prospect" and is not elligible to make the list. In addition, with Johan Holmqvist on track for graduation this season, we've adopted new, but similar, rules for goaltenders whereby graduation will occur upon the 30th decision of any single NHL season or the 41st career NHL decision. For anyone wondering, Holmqvist has already earned 23 decisions this season (with a 14-9-0 record).
With all the legal disclaimers out of the way, here are the 2006-2007 Bolt Prospects Midterm Rankings which can also be found on our prospects page.