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Crunch Rookie Thomas Shows 'Solid Progression'


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Ben Thomas soaked in what he could in last year’s eight-game stint in Syracuse.

The defenseman joined the Crunch after the conclusion of his junior season last spring, and recorded his first pro goal and three assists. More importantly, Thomas learned what to expect and gained confidence knowing he could play at the AHL level.

Thomas is continuing to show progress during his rookie season as he adjusts to pro hockey.

“I think it was good for me last year to step in at the end, get some experience and show myself that I can play at this level,” Thomas said. “That gave me confidence coming into this year, and I was able to get off to a pretty good start. Those games last year really helped me.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Episode 83

This is this week’s “Roller Coaster” edition of the Bolt Prospects Podcast includes the following topics:

· The No. 83 and plus/minus franchise leaders
· Lightning roller coaster is out of control
· Follow the bouncing prospects
· Upsides of recent call-ups
· Interview with Syracuse’s Gabriel Dumont
· Interview with rookie pro Ben Thomas
· WJC update

Click here to listen

Crunch's Dumont Continues Push to Make NHL


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Gabriel Dumont’s goals have remained the same since he was a rookie six years ago.

A veteran who has competed in more than 400 AHL games in the Montreal organization, Dumont signed with Tampa Bay last summer with the belief that he could earn a call-up to the Lightning.

Dumont has registered 10 points in 17 games with the Syracuse Crunch this season, as he continues to push for another opportunity in the NHL.

“You always want to work on everything,” Dumont said. “You ask any player. Everybody wants to get better, get faster, get stronger, shoot the puck better. I think the goal is — no matter hold old you are — is to keep improving every day. As long as you’re improving, you won’t fall off the radar.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Episode 82

This is this week’s “Carle-Stralman” edition of the Bolt Prospects Podcast includes the following topics:

· Will the real Tampa Bay Lightning please stand up?
· Down goes Bishop
· Gudlevskis vs Wilcox
· Bishop vs Vasilevskiy
· Expansion draft paralyzing trade market
· Love for Boko
· WJC watch

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Episode 81 Mailbag

This is this week’s mailbag to accompany the “Jonathan Marchessault Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast.

· Loss to Vancouver still stinging
· Is Sustr’s ice time vs Canucks really that big of a deal? Why?
· Disconnect between forwards and defense? Coach and GM?
· Basically the same roster for three years – is the team stale?
· Why can’t we get analytics charts we can read?
· Is Boko the next Rocket Richard winner? (tongue-in-cheek)
· Boko’s got swag for days. No question, just a statement.
· Johnson for Shattenkirk?
· Cirelli a player or just a really nice Italian boy?
· Junior level prospects garnering excitement?
· Mitchell Stephens production next year in AHL.
· Drouin-Point-Kucherov? Please?
· What shakeups would you make?
· Which prospects are future fan favorites?
· Koekkoek v. Nesterov v. Witkowski
· Can Koekkoek be a top-4 by April?
· Trade targets broken down by category; preference discussed

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Episode 81

This week’s “Jonathan Marchessault Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast includes the following topics:

· The No. 81
· Marchessault vs Norfolk, Syracuse
· Young players and ice time
· Pinpointing the Lightning’s holes so far this year
· Big contracts don’t equal big production
· Yzerplan not working (or being allowed to work?) on D
· How to fix things and who/what could be expendable
· Holes in D depth, though positives rising
· Interview with and about Jake Dotchin
· World Juniors watch
· MacLeod rumors

(Note: The #BPMailbag will be in a separate edition this week.)

Dotchin Working To Be More Than Stay-At-Home Defenseman


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Jake Dotchin is adding more facets to his game in his third pro season.

Despite being known more as a physical people-mover than a flashy puck-mover, the Crunch blueliner is coming off a career week statistically. Dotchin registered five points and was a plus-five on Syracuse’s three-game homestand last week.

Dotchin is working to become more than a traditional stay-at-home defenseman.

“I think I’ve come a long way in the defensive zone, and I’m just bringing more aspects to my game now,” Dotchin said. “Bringing more offense will not only help me, but help the team win as well.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Episode 80

This week’s “Kevin Weekes Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast includes the following topics:

· “Shady 80”
· Goalie trade after goalie trade after goalie trade
· New/old Lightning identity showing
· Mock expansion draft protected list(s)
· #BPMailbag (Johnson/Drouin in expansion danger? … B2B’s … Syracuse goaltending issues … Prospects first in line for TB spots next year)

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Episode 79

This week’s “Vladimir Vujtek Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast includes the following topics:

· The No. 79
· Lightning’s identity crisis
· Words I never thought I’d say
· What’s next?
· Six Bolt prospects camping with Team Canada
· Brad Richards: Best Lightning prospect season ever
· #BPMailbag (Forward prospects … Dougie Hamilton talk … What can TB spend for a D? … Coop on hot seat? … Vladdy regressing? … Fancy stats … Can Yzerman sign himself? … Day jobs … D-depth worries … Irritating announcers … DeAngelo DeRegrets? … Possible return pieces for Bishop)

Lightning Put 6 on Team Canada Camp Roster

Team Canada announced their selection camp roster yesterday and six of the 32 players are Lightning prospects:

C Mitchell Stephens
C Anthony Cirelli
C Brett Howden
W Mathieu Joseph
W Taylor Raddysh
G Connor Ingram

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