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Prospect of the Week: 2-25-15


By Jeremy Houghtaling

We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Bolt Prospect of the Week for February 25, 2015 is … Vladislav Namestnikov, C, Syracuse Crunch (AHL – USA).

With Vladislav Namestnikov in a four-game point drought and the Syracuse Crunch on a five-game losing streak, both looked to rebound.

The Crunch’s top line center registered a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win over Albany Friday, added a helper in a 5-3 victory over Binghamton Saturday, and recorded the game-winner and two assists in a 4-3 win in Rochester Sunday. The six-point, plus-five weekend earned Namestnikov the honor of being named the American Hockey League Player of the Week Monday, and our Bolt Prospect of the Week today.

Bolt Prospects' 2014-2015 Midterm Rankings

With the graduation of Cedric Paquette and Jonathan Drouin from prospect status here on Bolt Prospects, it's officially time for our annual mid-season ritual of releasing our Midterm Rankings. While the season to date has been marked by a few surprises, the overall shape and outline of the Lightning organization appears to be in line with our early season expectations. Fresh from a season that saw an unprecedented migration of high-quality talent from the AHL to the NHL level, the Lightning organization still enjoys a handful of highly regarded top-tier prospects. But, the amazing depth the Lightning enjoyed is still in the process of being rebuilt. And, with injuries playing a factor, that depth is being heavily taxed midway through the 2014-2015 campaign, particularly at the defenseman position.

The rules remain the same: Only prospects who were under the age of 24 on opening night of the Lightning season are eligible for inclusion in the rankings (our apologies, Luke Witkowski). A skater prospect is considered graduated if they play 41 games in a single NHL season or they collect 82 career NHL games. Goaltenders graduate with 30 decisions in a single NHL season or 41 career NHL decisions. Finally, NCAA-based prospects are eligible for inclusion on the list as long as they are in school, regardless of their age. With the rules out of the way, let's begin...

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 18

This week's edition of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (now on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 18
· Lightning-comparable Franson trade offer
· Rental deadline deal vs hockey trade
· Drouin for Ekman-Larsson?
· The price for Keith Yandle
· Is now the time to export a defenseman’s contract?
· Two prospects distancing themselves from others
· Interview with new Bolt prospect David “Brolldozer” Broll

Click here to listen

To listen on Lightning Radio, go to TBLPowerPlay.com.

Schedule (all times Eastern):

Fridays at 2, 5 and 11 PM
Saturdays at 5 PM

Broll Looks to Make Impact with Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

David Broll wanted to make an impact as quickly as possible.

The gritty forward, making his Syracuse Crunch debut last Friday, saw the opportunity in the first period when Norfolk’s Nic Kerdiles crossed the blue line and cut toward the middle of the ice with his head down. Nicknamed the Brolldozer since his time playing minor midget hockey, Broll laid out the opposing forward with a clean open ice check and later answered the bell by fighting John Kurtz.

Since being traded from the Toronto organization earlier this month, Broll is focused on taking advantage of his fresh start with Syracuse.

“I wanted to get into the game early, whether it was physical or getting puck on the net,” the 22-year-old said. “I took advantage of the opportunity there.”

Prospect of the Week: 2-16-15

We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Bolt Prospect of the Week for February 16, 2015 is … Adam Wilcox, G, Minnesota Golden Gophers (NCAA – USA).

It wasn’t supposed to be this difficult.

Coming into the season, Lightning 2011 sixth rounder Adam Wilcox had a lot of expectations on his shoulders. He was a Hobey Baker nominee and Mike Richter Trophy finalist as the nation’s best goaltender, and would be the unquestioned No. 1 once again for the mighty Gophers. Wilcox’s future was so bright, talk started that he may choose not to sign with the Lightning and instead become a free agent in the summer of 2015 and shop his services elsewhere.

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