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A general catch-all tag for content that involves too many prospects to individually tag

BoltProspects 2010-2011 Preliminary Rankings

Now that the 2010-2011 NHL season is underway it is time for BoltProspects' 2010-2011 Preliminary Rankings of the Lightning's top twenty-five prospects. This year's installment reflects a talent pool that has both high-end prospects and depth for perhaps the first time in the club's history, a fact that was celebrated by both GM Steve Yzerman and Head Coach Guy Boucher during training camp this fall. The Lightning is still looking for high end talent at the defenseman position, but at forward and between the pipes there's no doubting the potential.

Before we proceed, I am required to recite the BoltProspects prospect criteria rules. As always, any player 24 years of age or older on opening night of the Lightning's season (10/9/10) is not eligible for inclusion on the list and will be considered an overage prospect. The prime example of this rule is versatile forward Johan Harju, who turned 24 in May, and therefore is not eligible for this year's list. The same is true for forward Blair Jones, who turned 24 in September. The exception to this rule is NCAA-based players, who remain eligible for the list until the completion of their college careers. Prospects under 24 will be considered graduated to the NHL level when they meet the appropriate criteria for games played or decisions. For skaters, any player who appears in 41 or more NHL games in a single season or 82 or more career NHL games is no longer considered a prospect. For goaltenders, any netminder who has 30 or more decisions in a single NHL season or 41 or more career NHL decisions will be considered graduated.

Now that that's out of the way, Guy Boucher says no more d-to-d passes. Let's go:

Traverse City Roster Surfaces

Updated: 8/19/2010

redwingscentral.com has posted the Lightning's Traverse City Prospects Tournament roster. The pre-training camp warm-up tourney is scheduled for September 11-15 in Traverse City, MI.

The roster includes 15 Lightning prospects and 7 free agent invitees. The roster features the goaltending tandem of Dustin Tokarski and Jaroslav Janus, as well as 2010 #6 overall pick Brett Connolly. Five other 2010 draftees, all defensemen, make up one of the tournament's youngest bluelines and includes Brock Beukeboom, Radko Gudas, Adam Janosik, Geoffrey Schemitsch, and Teigan Zahn. The only other backliner is '08 draftee Mark Barberio.

Joining Connolly up front will be '09 draftees Carter Ashton, Richard Panik, and Alex Hutchings along with returning pros Dana Tyrell, Mitch Fadden, and James Wright.

The roster sports seven free agent tryouts, all forwards, including three returnees from the July Prospect Camp in Tampa. Getting a second look will be Jonathan Lessard, Andrew Agozzino, and the hat-trick star of the Young Guns scrimmage Brandon Hynes. Tim Marks, currently under AHL contract with the Norfolk Admirals, gets his chance to continue on the path to be the organization's next Paul Szczechura. Matt Butcher joins the Bolts squad as a graduate of Northern Michigan University, a prolific scorer in the BCHL and an unsigned 2005 5th round pick of the Vancouver Canucks. The final two invitees include Marc-Olivier Vachon, a diminutive winger who was coached by Guy Boucher at Drummondville during the '08-'09 season, and Harvard graduate Doug Rogers. Rogers, an unsigned '06 draftee of the New York Islanders, played alongside Lightning prospect Alex Killorn for the last couple years for the Crimson.

Conspicuous in their absence from the TC roster are goaltender Michael Zador, and forwards Brendan O'Donnell, and James Mullin. Zador is expected to return to the nets for Oshawa (OHL) this coming season, while '10 draftees O'Donnell and Mullin are expecting to play for Penticton (BCHL) and Fargo (USHL), respectively.

This roster has been officially confirmed by the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

Bolts Will Return to Traverse City; Johnson Likely Returns to Norfolk

Confirming a report from couple of days ago on redwingscentral.com, the St. Pete Times is reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning will return to the annual Red Wings hosted prospects tournament in Traverse City, MI on Sept 11-15. Regular attendees in the past, the previous ownership group of the Lightning suspended the team's involvement in the yearly event. The Lightning will be replacing the Atlanta Thrashers in the 8 team tourney, as former Lightning GM Rick Dudley now at the helm of the Thrashers have withdrawn from involvement this year. It is rumored that between trades made by Dudley and former GM Don Waddell, Atlanta no longer has enough prospects to field a team to participate in the Traverse City event.

The Times also is reporting that all signs point towards Jim Johnson returning to the helm of the Norfolk Admirals next season. The Times quotes Lightning GM Steve Yzerman as saying, "We're on the same page," with regard to Johnson and his continued involvement with the organization. Johnson is currently running the ongoing Development Camp that finishes up Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. with the Young Guns scrimmage, which is free and open to the public.

BoltProspects 2009-2010 Supplemental Rankings: Post Draft

With the 2010 NHL Entry Draft completed, BoltProspects is releasing its Supplemental Rankings of the organization's top twenty-five prospects. The new rankings reflect both the results of the 2010 draft and transfers and signings that have occurred since the release of our 2009-2010 Final Rankings. To be considered a prospect for the sake of our rankings, a player must be under 24 years of age on the Lightning's opening night of the NHL season. Players 24 or over are considered overage prospects and are no longer eligible for consideration. The exception to this rule are NCAA based players, who are considered prospects for the tenure of their college careers. For the skating positions, a prospect is considered graduated if they play 41 or more NHL games in a single season or 82 or more career NHL games. For goaltenders, a player who has 30 or more NHL decisions in a single season or 41 or more career NHL decisions is considered graduated and no longer eligible for the list.

BoltProspects 2009-2010 Final Rankings

With the 2009-2010 NHL season completed and the Chicago Blackhawks crowned as Stanley Cup champions, and the passing of the annual deadline to sign draft prospects, BoltProspects is pleased to release its 2009-2010 Final Rankings for the season. The release of the Final Rankings will precede a daily series we are going to be running up to draft day titled 11 for 6. 11 for 6 will examine the top 11 prospects we at BoltProspects feel fans should be aware of as the Lightning prepare to pick 6th overall at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Signing Season is Coming

The KHL's regular season came to a close Sunday, the NCAA is in the midst of its conference playoffs, and Canadian junior regular seasons will be closing next weekend. So, it's getting close to signing season, and I figured I'd post a little on the blog about some of the players who will potentially be joining the organization in the coming weeks and months. Before I do, though, I wanted to quickly address the new ownership situation.

Bolt Prospects 2009-2010 Midterm Rankings

It's roughly the midpoint of the NHL season, and with the graduations of prospects James Wright and Victor Hedman, and the conclusion of the U20 World Junior Championships, it's time for Bolt Prospects to release its 2009-2010 Midterm Rankings. The Midterm Rankings reflect a significant amount of change for the club, as it has been a year where the team's prospects haven't stuck to the script. Some players have failed to live up to expectations. Other have come out of nowhere to raise their stock. The end result is one of the widest shifts in rankings we've ever had.

Bolt Prospects 2009-2010 Preliminary Rankings

Now that the 2009-2010 season is fully underway, it's time for Bolt Prospects to engage in the annual ritual of submitting its October Preliminary Rankings. This is going to be a fascinating season for the Lightning's prospects, as Norfolk looks like it has the most depth its had since the Lightning affiliated itself with the Admirals franchise and a deep 2009 NHL Entry Draft has given Lightning fans much to look forward to in the junior ranks. But, before we proceed, lets go over the ground rules again.

Bolt Prospects considers a prospect skater to be any player under the age of 24 on opening night of the season who has played less than 41 NHL games in any given season and who has not played more than 82 career NHL games. For goaltenders, any player who has less than 30 NHL decisions in a single season and less than 41 career NHL decisions is still considered a prospect. The exception to these rules is an NCAA player, who is considered a prospect for however long they remain in school. Clear as mud? Wonderful. Let's begin...

Lightning Announce 2009 Training Camp Roster

The Tampa Bay Lighting announced the roster for their 2009 training camp on Wednesday. Camp is scheduled to start Saturday, September 12.

The roster includes six of the seven 2009 draft picks including Victor Hedman, Carter Ashton, and Richard Panik. The roster also includes prospect forward Radek Smolenak, who had planned to play the 2009-10 season in the KHL but had been recently cut from that team. The Lightning had retained Smolenak's NHL rights, and it has been rumored that Tampa is still interested in getting the gritty winger under contract.

The roster also includes four unsigned 2008 prospect draftees including forwards James Wright, Kyle DeCoste, and Matias Sointu as well as defenseman Mark Barberio.

Finally, as reported earlier today by Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune, the roster includes free agent tryout Brett McLean. The 31 year old veteran forward had his $1.7M salary bought out by the Florida Panthers on June 29th, and is looking to impress the Lighting enough to earn a contract.

Bolt Prospects 2009 NHL Entry Draft Supplemental Rankings

With two weeks now passed since a very successful 2009 NHL Entry Draft and an equally successful Young Guns prospect camp, Bolt Prospects has released a supplemental update to its 2008-2009 Final Rankings. The rankings primarily reflect the addition of the team's recent draftees, as well as recent contractual moves by the team and its prospects.

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