Fifth Round, One-Hundred Twenty-Second Overall
G Dustin Tokarski, 5'11" 185 lbs, Spokane (WHL)
Rankings: #9 North American Goalie CSS, #129 Overall Red Line Report, THN #NR, McKeen's #90 Overall
45 GP, 30-10-3, 2.05 GAA, .922 sv%, 6 shutouts
Tokarski stole the show at the 2008 Memorial Cup, winning MVP honors for the Spokane Chiefs. A bit undersized, the positionally sound, mentally tough goaltender stopped 53 shots in the Finals to defeat the Kitchener Rangers. "The Tick" split duties in the regular season. The Watson, Saskatchewan, native finished among the top goalies through the regular Western Hockey League season and was named the Western Conference championship series MVP after the Chiefs beat the Tri-City Americans in a memorable seven-game series that included five total overtime and three double-overtime games. He missed being eligible for the 2007 draft by one day. He went undrafted in the WHL Bantam Draft. He led his midget club to a championship, and considering Spokane has a young roster, he could put up huge numbers on his way to another Memorial Cup experience next year in Rimouski.
Fourth Round, One-Hundred Seventeenth Overall
C James Wright, 6'3" 185 lbs, Vancouver (WHL)
Rankings: CSS 35 North America, Red Line #76 Overall, THN #48 Overall
60 GP, 13-23-36, 21 PIM
Wright had an up and down year battling mono for part of the season before finishing strong with a good playoff run. The consensus on Wright appears to be that he is a long term project. He has good size and strength, a good long stride, and decent hands. However, he doesn't have much burst and he's reluctant to use his size to his advantage. This is a boom or bust pick. Red Line projects him as a "2nd liner or never develops" and compares him to Kris Beech. THN pegs him as a "checking forward" with the potential to become a third or fourth line shut down center.
Through 45 picks, here are the top-10 remaining players on the board according to Red Line:
#8 RW Kirill Petrov, Kazan (RUS)
#21, D Brandon Burlon, St. Mike's (OPJHL)
#24, D Colby Robak, Brandon (WHL)
#26, LW Andre Petersson, HV 71 Jr (SWE)
#30, C Maxime Sauve, Val-d'Or (QMJHL)
#33, RW Mikhail Stefanovich, Quebec (QMJHL)
#34, RW Evgeni Grachev, Yaroslavl (RUS)
#36, D Mark Barbero, Moncton (QMJHL)
#38, D Jordan Southorn, PEI (QMJHL)
#39, LW Patrice Cormier, Rimouski (QMJHL)
There were no surprises for the Lightning in the first round as they made the no-brainer selection of C Steven Stamkos from the Sarnia Sting with their number one overall selection. For the league in general, however, there was a record amount of movement as teams maneuvered up and down throughout the first round. Now with 30 picks complete, the Lightning can begin to take a peek at who might be available to them at their next selection at #62.
Here are the top ten remaining players on the board from THN and Red Line:
First Round, First Overall
C Steven Stamkos, 6'1" 180 lbs, Sarnia (OHL)
Stamkos, who has been compared to former Red Wing great Steve Yzerman by multiple scouting outfits, scored 58 goals and 105 points in 61 games last season for Sarnia of the OHL to go along with 88 penalty minutes.