With the 3rd round pick acquired from Anaheim in the Shane O'Brien deal, #75 overall, the Lightning select:
LW Luca Cunti, 6'0" 185 lbs, GCK (SUI NLB)
5 GP, 1-1-2, 2 PIM
Here's your swing for the fences folks. Cunti was considered one of the wild cards going into this draft and there were some who believed he was the best pure offensive talent in this draft. But, he plays in Switzerland which isn't exactly a hotbed for NHL scoring liners and he hasn't played much at the men's league level yet. Still, he's a captivating mix of speed and skill. Considered one-dimensional at this stage of his career. Cunti doesn't take the body, doesn't backcheck. He just scores, a lot. There are rumors Luca may be interested in crossing the pond to play US college hockey and could play in the USHL for Chicago next season. Erik Erlendsson blogs he's interested in St. Cloud State and Clarkson. Or, he could go the Canadian junior route as well.
NHL CSS: #12 (European Skaters)
Redline Report: #54
With their 2nd round pick, #47 overall the Lightning select:
C/RW Dana Tyrell, 5'10" 185 lbs, Prince George (WHL)
72 GP, 30-26-56, 51 PIM
Tyrell is a high character player who has a junkyard dog mentality. He's incredibly tough for a small player and loves to go to the high traffic areas and crash the net. He has the versatility to play center and right wing and is universally praised for his leadership abilities, coachability, tenacity and versatility. Skates well too. Plays in all situations for Prince George. Solid, safe, nearly bust proof pick. He was selected with several top Canadian prospects to play for Canada in the Canada-Russia Super Series this Fall.
NHL CSS: #15 (NA Skaters)
Redline Report: #30
The 2007 NHL Entry Draft taking place Friday and Saturday aren't the only drafts taking place in the next week. Next Wednesday, June 27th, the CHL will hold their 2007 Import Draft which takes on added importance as rumors persist that 2006 1st round pick Riku Helenius might cross the pond to play Canadian junior hockey next season.
Also in today's St. Pete Times, Damian Crisdotero breaks down the Lightning system by NHL readiness. One surprise on the list: defenseman Justin Fletcher from St. Cloud State who played well during an ATO stint with the Springfield Falcons at the end of last season. According to Crisdotero, Fletcher has signed a one year deal with the Lightning organization.
There have also been rumors that the Lightning are interested in bringing Falcons tryout forward Jacob Micflikier into the fold in Norfolk as well, although nothing substantial has surfaced as of yet.
Damian Cristodero of the St. Pete Times is reporting on his blog goaltender Vasily Koshechkin will stay in Russia this season. Crisdotero cites a conversation with Koshechkin's agent Jay Grossman in which the netminder expressed a sense of obligation to honor the final year of his Superleague contract. Koshechkin's contract was recent sold from Lada Togliatti to Ak Bars Kazan of the Russian Superleague. Early reports from this summer that had Koshechkin on the way to CSKA turned out to be unsubstantiated.