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2017-2018 Midterm Rankings

Introduction
Well, it finally was time for Steve Yzerman to cash in. After several years of carefully cultivating one of the deeper prospect pools in the NHL, the Lightning used that depth to complete a trade deadline blockbuster that leveraged prospects Libor Hajek and Brett Howden to land playoff reinforcements Ryan McDonagh and J. T. Miller. Have no fear, though, the Lightning still maintain a deep stable of solid youth, some of whom are already contributing at the NHL level while an extremely youthful Syracuse Crunch team has found its voice and is playing well beyond its years down in the AHL. So, even though a couple of bigger names have moved along, don't expect that to diminish a likely youth movement to come in Tampa Bay over the next two or three years, particularly on the lower lines at the forward position.

As per custom, it's now time for a review of the prospect ranking rules. Any player 24 or older on opening night of the Lightning's season is considered an overage prospect for the purposes of the rankings, hence why Yanni Gourde and Matt Peca were considered overagers earlier this season. A skater with 41 NHL games in a single season or 82 career NHL games of service is considered graduated from prospect status on the website. This has included newly minted Bolt Prospects alumni Mikhail Sergachev, Gourde, and Jake Dotchin so far this season. Goaltenders who have 30 NHL decisions in a single season or 41 career NHL decisions are considered graduated. Lastly, any NCAA player is considered a prospect for the duration of their college career regardless of age.

So, let's begin...

Crunch's Yan Focuses on Consistency in Rookie Season


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Consistency is a key for Dennis Yan’s development.

The Syracuse Crunch winger has four multi-point games during his rookie season, including a goal and an assist against Laval Saturday. Of his 20 points in 40 games this season, nine have come during a multi-point performance.

Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx believes Yan has the tools, but needs to use them each and every game.

“I like the skills. I like the size. He’s got to bring it together every day,” Groulx said. “He’s not consistent at doing that. When he does that, he’s a very good player. When he does not, he’s a different player.”

Crunch's Walcott 'Making Friends' With Abrasive Style


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Daniel Walcott realizes that he’s at his best when he’s abrasive.

The Syracuse Crunch forward prides himself on his play on the forecheck and ability to rile up opponents. Walcott can also chuck some fists when the time comes.

Since moving from defense to forward full-time earlier this season, Walcott has focused on bringing energy to the Crunch lineup.

“I’m an energetic guy, so if I can spread the wealthy with my energy, I’ll do that,” Walcott said. “Also, I want to create plays and play the right way defensively. If I’m on the ice, I can’t get scored on. That’s been a focus for me — to bring energy and be physically, but be sound defensively.”

Even After Highlight Reel Save, Ingram Pragmatic About His Development


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Connor Ingram isn’t letting one play get to his head.

The Syracuse Crunch goalie made a highlight reel save that ended up on SportsCenter’s Top 10 in a 3-1 win in Charlotte Sunday. Even after a spectacular diving stop with his stick, Ingram focused more on making the next save.

Ingram remains pragmatic about the play and hockey in general as he works his way toward the NHL.

“It went right to left, I slid in and missed my post on the left side and it was a wide open net. You’ve got to do whatever you can to get there, and luckily he just shot it right into my stick,” Ingram said. “I’m not going to take credit for it. It’s a pretty fluky thing that’ll happen.”

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