Features

Articles that are feature stories.

Thomas Quickly Settling In With Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

It took a shift or two, but Ben Thomas’ nerves subsided.

Less than a week after signing his entry level contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the 19-year-old defenseman made his professional debut with the Syracuse Crunch in a 3-1 win over the Rochester Americans Saturday.

Thomas has quickly settled in on the Crunch’s blue line.

“I was a little nervous going in, obviously, but I thought after I got that first shift out of the way and felt the puck a little bit I settled down,” Thomas said. “I think it went pretty smoothly.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 59

This week’s “Mike Angelidis Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· No. 59
· More Drouinsanity
· Lightning roller coaster going up again
· New Lightning identity
· Thomas signed; more on the way?
· A Norwegian #BPMailbag

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Taormina Brings A Little of Everything to Crunch Blue Line


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Matt Taormina’s role with the Syracuse Crunch includes a little bit of everything.

The defenseman is one of the team’s main power play quarterbacks, a top penalty killer, a workhorse on the blue line during 5-on-5, and a veteran presence in the room. Taormina’s play has earned him a spot in the AHL All-Star Classic, as well multiple call-ups to the Tampa Bay Lightning this season.

In his seventh full pro season, Taormina still lets his play do most of the talking.

“His best asset as far as being a role model for the players is how he approaches the game during practice and in the games,” Crunch head coach Rob Zettler said. “He’s not a real vocal guy who’s loud and in people’s face. He just does his job.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 58

This week’s “Scott Jackson Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· No. 58
· Reviewing Drouin’s “re-debut”
· The unpredictable Lightning roller coaster
· Interview with Syracuse’s Jake Dotchin
· #BPMailbag (Drouin’s use, timelines, and what-ifs … Bishop trade return … Is the panic jar half full or half empty? … I’m the new GM of Syracuse – here’s who stays and who goes … Blunden recall reasons … Dotchin vs Blujus … DeAngelo next year … Yzerman and Coop on the same page? … Favo(u)rite player & prospect)

Correction: Henri Ikonen has one more year left on his contract, so he'll be back in Syracuse next season.

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