Features

Articles that are feature stories.

Richard Looks to Bounce Back in Sophomore Season 


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Tanner Richard doesn’t fit easily into a single category.

The Crunch forward, a top point producer in junior, turned into a grinder during his rookie campaign with Syracuse last season. With more opportunity on a scoring line this year, Richard has a shootout winner and six points — four of which came in the last three games — and 32 penalty minutes in his first 13 games this season.

Richard is hoping his versatility makes him a mainstay in the Crunch lineup — no matter what line he’s assigned.

“That’s what I was drafted as, a point producer,” the 21-year-old center said. “My numbers were nowhere near where they needed to be and where I wanted them to be last year, so that was frustrating. I’m just hoping I can produce and provide secondary scoring for the team and contribute that way. At the same time, be gritty in front of the net and stand up for teammates.”

Crunch's Smith Focuses on Standing Out


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Dalton Smith has taken the wisdom from his father and uncles to heart.

The Syracuse Crunch power forward, whose father, Derrick Smith, and uncles, Keith and Wayne Primeau, each played more than 500 NHL games, was told to find a way to make an impact in every game.

Smith, known more for his work with his fists than producing points, scored twice in each of his last two games to take the team lead in goals scored.

“They always talk about not blending into games, and always standing out and doing something every night to get yourself noticed,” the 22-year-old said. “And to put as many tools as you can in your toolbox, and I think that’s what I worked on a lot this summer.”

Prospect of the Week: 11-11-14

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 November 11, 2014 is … Cedric Paquette, Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL – USA).

Don’t get in the way of Dump Truck. This applies to AHL and NHL defensemen, or anyone in Cedric Paquette’s developmental path.

The hard-nosed center with the Tampa Bay Lightning isn’t supposed to be crashing through the NHL door yet. The prospect we affectionately nicknamed “Dump Truck” (because dump trucks aren’t pretty or fast, but dump trucks are strong and do the hard work) is in just the second year of his 3-year, entry-level contract.

Vermin Looking Forward, Eyes NHL


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Joel Vermin has put last year behind him.

The Crunch forward, who finished with a disappointing 18 points in 49 games with Bern of the Swiss A-League, has found a role on one of Syracuse's top lines and registered six points in his first nine games this season.

"Last year was last year," Vermin said. "I don't really think about that too much. It was a learning process for me."

Prospect of the Week: 11-5-14

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 November 5, 2014 is … Joel Vermin, Syracuse Crunch (AHL – USA).

The Syracuse Crunch needed a flood of goals in a big way on Saturday night, and Joel Vermin was happy to help open the gates.

The BoltProspects Podcast, Volume 6

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

· #FreeDrouin
· ECHL drama
· Interview with Cedric Paquette
· BP Mailbag (Improvement needed in Syracuse ... Who is organization's best fighter?)
· Weekly prospect review

Click here to listen

Upcoming appearances with Lightning Radio:

(All times Eastern)

Paquette Leads by Example for Crunch, Lightning


By Jeremy Houghtaling

For Syracuse Crunch coach Rob Zettler, a leader doesn't have to be the loudest one on the ice.

Case in point: Crunch assistant captain and frequent Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cedric Paquette.

A player known for his high compete level, Paquette has registered seven points in five games with the Crunch and has developed into a quality depth player for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who recalled the second-year pro on Tuesday.

"I like what he brings to the table on the ice," Zettler said of the 21-year-old forward. "His work ethic in practice, his work ethic in a game -- it doesn't change. That's what I like about him, and that's why he has an A on his sweater. You don't always have to be a loud or a vocal guy to be a leader."

BP Mailbag: 10-31-14

With the debut of our podcast this year, the #BPMailbag – text version – has disappeared like Sharks in the playoffs. Realizing not everyone can listen to mailbag answers on the podcast, here’s a Cliff (Ronning?) Notes version of the latest edition of the #BPMailbag.

To submit questions, use the #BPMailbag hashtag on Twitter (@boltprospects), email chad@boltprospects.com, or ask on the message boards.

On to the questions:

Dotchin Fights to Improve with Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Six games into his rookie season, Jake Dotchin is all about being a student.

Crunch coach Rob Zettler noticed the defenseman's focus on improvement, comparing the rookie to a sponge.

"First off, a great work ethic and a fun kid to be around," Zettler said of the 20-year-old. "He tries to absorb all of it. He's a bit of a sponge that way."

Dotchin recorded his first pro point and fight last weekend, recording an assist in Syracuse’s loss to Portland Saturday and having a short-but-spirited bout with Matheiu Gagnon in a 5-1 loss to Springfield Saturday.

"There are a lot of firsts for everybody -- the fights, the points," Zettler said. "Just feeling the speed, feeling how quick this league is and how good it is, they still have a long way to go. They have taken some strides, but they're still learning."

The BoltProspects Podcast, Volume 5

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

· Jonathan Drouin's ice time (or lack thereof) in home opener
· Nikita Kucherov, all-star?
· Inside our latest rankings
· BP Mailbag (The Wilcox question, goaltender depth chart flip-flop, Bad timing for Connolly)
· Weekly prospect review

Click here to listen

Upcoming appearances with Lightning Radio:

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