Name: Justin Courtnall
Position: Left Wing
Weight: 185 lbs
Acquired: 2007 Entry Draft, 7th round, 210 Overall
Despite being selected in the 11th round, 220th overall, of the 2004 WHL Bantam Draft by the Kelowna Rockets, Justin Courtnall has to this point retained his NCAA eligibility by playing the past two seasons in the BCHL. His rookie season in the BCHL came in 2006-2007 when after going scoreless for 5 games with the Victoria Grizzlies with 14 penalty minutes he was loaned to the Burnaby Express. In 48 games with the Express, Courtnall posted 5 goals and 14 points with 55 penalty minutes. At season's end Courtnall was rated the 181st best skating prospect in North America by the NHL Central Scouting Service and the Lightning selected him in the 7th Round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Just prior to draft day Courtnall was returned to Victoria, and as of yet there is no word of any college commitments for the young forward who is the son of former NHLer Geoff Courtnall.
Courtnall scored his first goal of the 2007-2008 season September 15 for Victoria against Powell River.
At present, because he has stayed in the BCHL to this point, it appears Courtnall is charting a course towards playing college hockey in the NHL. If that is indeed the road he chooses to take, it could be 5-6 years before the Lightning have to make a signing decision on the forward.
Profile Created 6/30/07 by Pete Choquette
Name: Alexander Killorn
Weight: 161 lbs
Acquired: 2007 Entry Draft, 3rd round, 77th Overall
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)