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Prospect of the Week: 3-11-15

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 March 11, 2015 is … Brayden Point, C, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL – Canada).

Reading junior hockey game recaps over the last decade has taught me something – it’s always hard for a visiting player to make the game star list as a visitor. It either has to be a no-doubt performance or the home team’s media has to really like the player.

Lightning prospect Brayden Point frequently falls into both categories, resulting in a plethora of game stars.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 20

This week's edition of the BoltProspects Podcast (also available on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 20
· Trade deadline review and how it affects TB moving forward
· Our midterm rankings, in depth
· Interview with Yanni Gourde
· #BPMailbag (How far can TB go? … Who’s in/Who’s out … Boring offseason ahead … Weasels riding woodpeckers)

Click here to listen

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

Previous BP Podcast editions:

Prospect of the Week: 3-4-15

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 March 4, 2015 is … Anthony DeAngelo, D, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL – Canada).

Anthony DeAngelo is going to need some more mantle space.

The Lightning’s first round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft is racking up the awards this year, and that’s not even counting another Bolt Prospect of the Week.

Already the Ontario Hockey League Player of the Week and Defenseman of the Month for February, the Canadian Hockey League announced Tuesday that he is also the CHL Player of the Week after scoring four goals and four assists for eight points in two games with a plus-minus rating of plus-4 for the week ending March 1.

Speedy Gourde Develops Into a Top Offensive Threat


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Like many times before, Yanni Gourde turned on the jets.

The Syracuse Crunch forward accepted the relay pass from Vlad Namesntikov in stride at the blue line, stormed in alone on Utica goalie Pat Nagle, and netted the eventual game-winning power play goal in a 4-1 victory Saturday.

Gourde, riding a six game point streak, is using his speed to his advantage to be one of the Crunch's top scoring threats this season.

“(Goalie Kristers Gudlevskis) makes a great play to pass it up to him to give him a breakaway, but no defenseman is going to catch him there because of his speed,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “He just needs to continue to use that. When he is successful, that’s what he does.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 19

This week's edition of the BoltProspects Podcast (also available on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 19
· Trade deadline do’s, don’ts, and shoulds
· Comparing Lightning D to 2014 Cup finalists’
· Interview with new/old Bolt prospect Carter Ashton
· Interview with AHL Player of the Week Vladdy Namestnikov
· #BPMailbag (Bryz an option? Drouin to AHL next year? How will young D do in the playoffs? Where to put all the centers? Koekkoek still on track? Prospects who could push for NHL time next fall)

Click here to listen

To listen on Lightning Radio, go to TBLPowerPlay.com. It’s scheduled to run Saturday at 2, 5, and 8 (EST).

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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