Tampa Bay Lightning

Content regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

7th Round, 202nd Overall: LW Nikita Gusev

LW Nikita Gusev, 5'9" 163 lbs, CSKA Jr. (RUS Jr.), Shoots: Right
CSS #20 European Skater, RLR #218 Overall
2011-2012 Statistics: 34 GP, 30-46-76, +23, 26 PIM

Tampa Bay finishes its draft by selecting the prolific linemate of Nikita Kucherov, Nikita Gusev. Also, the Lightning take their third overage eligible of the draft.

Pros: Flat out lights it up statistically. He has all the puck skills and offensive hockey sense you would expect out of a Russian forward, and winds up all over the stat sheet because of it. Great in space, and a magician with the puck who dangles and buys time for his linemates as a playmaker. Also has a good sense for finding holes without the puck and jumping into them to set up a good one-timer.

Cons: Tiny. You won't see many highlights of Gusev working his way in and out of traffic, because not much footage exists. More of a perimeter player to this point of his career. Skating lacks the high end gear you'd want from a player his size. Turns 20 in July and has yet to taste much success on the KHL level. A flight risk back to the KHL if he ever comes over to North America. The "Russian factor" strikes again.

This is a classic late round flyer on a very talented young man who may never make it to North America, but may be lured by the chance to come with Kucherov. He's got the puck skills to be a second line scorer, but lack of a top gear in skating may keep him out of the NHL.

6th Round, 161st Overall: D Jake Dotchin

D Jake Dotchin, 6'2" 207 lbs, Owen Sound (OHL), Shoots: Right
CSS #139 North American Skater, RLR #109 Overall
2011-2012 Statistics: 64 GP, 3-16-19, -2, 77 PIM

The Lightning opt for another late bloomer in big Owen Sound defenseman Jake Dotchin.

Pros: Big, strong young man who is a hitter. Good awareness and good positionally. Reads the play well. Big hard shot. Shot up developmentally, as he had zero major junior experience before this season.

Cons: Skating has improved, but he's still on the slow side with poor footwork. Outlet passing needs work, as well.

Red Line report projected Dotchin as a depth defenseman in the stay-at-home mold and compared him to Mark Fraser.

4th Round, 101st Overall: C Cedric Paquette

C Cedric Paquette, 6'0" 198 lbs, Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL), Shoots: Left
CSS Not Ranked, RLR #94 Overall

2011-2012 Statistics: 63 GP, 31-17-48, +1, 88 PIM

The Lightning go for their second overage draftee of the night in late blooming power center Cedric Paquette. Paquette was Blainville's best player in the playoffs.

Pros: Tenacious forechecker who dominates below the circles. Surprising puckhandling ability and soft hands.

Cons: Second year eligible only played 4 games of major junior before this year. Skating is a question mark.

Red Line Report projects Paquette as a gritty bottom six forward with some ability to contribute offensively, and compares him stylistically to Matthew Lombardi.

3rd Round, 71st Overall: C Tanner Richard

C Tanner Richard, 6'0" 182 lbs, Guelph (OHL), Shoots: Left
CSS #41 North American Skater, Red Line Report #43 Overall
2011-2012 Statistics: 43 GP, 13-35-48, +4, 46 PIM

The Lightning get fantastic value in the third round with Swiss second year eligible Tanner Richard.

Pros: Good skater with great acceleration. Soft hands and a great puckhandler and playmaker. Competes hard at both ends of the rink and surprisingly willing to play the physical game, despite his slight frame.

Cons: Nagging injuries limited him to 45 games, and those injuries may be attributed to his lack of strength and size. Second year eligible so a little less time to develop than others in this class.

Red Line Report projected Richard as a versatile top 9 forward who chips in offensively and compared him to Valtteri Filppula.

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