Promotion/Demotion

Drouin Looks to Turn Focus Back to Hockey


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Jonathan Drouin wants to put the focus back on hockey.

Three days after being assigned to the Syracuse Crunch, the 20-year-old forward refused to comment on his agent Allan Walsh going public with a request to be traded from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Drouin is finally feeling 100 percent and ready to play hockey -- wherever that is.

“I’m not going to answer any questions about the trade request,” Drouin said in the brief press conference before an optional skate Tuesday. “It’s between my agent and (Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman). The only thing I can do is play hockey here.”

What to Expect from Joel Vermin

The Tampa Bay Lightning recalled forward Joel Vermin from the Syracuse Crunch today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Vermin, 23, has skated in 12 games with the Crunch this season, posting three goals and 10 points to go along with two penalty minutes. He ranks tied for first on Syracuse for both assists (seven) and points. Vermin has recorded two goals and five points over his past two games for the Crunch.

The Bern, Switzerland, native has appeared in 93 career AHL games, all with Syracuse during the past three seasons, notching 16 goals and 44 points. Vermin set career highs last season for games played (73), goals (12), assists (21) and points (33). He’s also skated in three AHL playoff games, registering one assist.

Vermin was originally drafted by the Lightning in the seventh round, 186th overall, at the 2013 NHL Draft.

BP Commentary: Every year there seems to be one or two players in the system who make a big jump. Last year it was Nikita Nesterov and to an extent, Tanner Richard. This year in the rookie tournament in Estero, Florida, it was Joel Vermin.

Talk about good timing.

Lightning Send Bulk of Syracuse Roster to Crunch Camp

The Tampa Bay Lightning reduced their training camp roster by 23 this weekend. All players reported to training camp with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch. The Crunch’s camp will take place in Lyon, France, for the second consecutive season.

Returning to Syracuse:

D Dylan Blujus
F Mike Blunden
F David Broll
D Charlie Dodero (AHL contract)
D Jake Dotchin
F Yanni Gourde
F Henri Ikonen
F Ryan Martindale (tryout)
D Joey Mormina (AHL contract)
F Philippe Paradis
F Tanner Richard
F Joel Vermin
G Allen York (AHL contract)

What to Expect from Nikita Nesterov

The Tampa Bay Lightning recalled defenseman Nikita Nesterov from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Nesterov, 5-foot-11, 199 pounds, has played in 32 games with the Crunch this season, recording three goals and 14 points with at plus-4 rating and 26 penalty minutes. He leads all Syracuse blue-liners for goals and points while ranking tied for second for plus/minus.

A native of Chelyabinsk, Russia, Nesterov has played in 86 career AHL games, all with the Crunch during the previous two seasons. He has registered seven goals and 30 points with 65 penalty minutes.

Nesterov was selected by the Lightning in the fifth round, 148th overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

What to Expect:

No player on the Syracuse Crunch has improved more since last season than Nesterov. There are two things to take away from that statement: Nesterov’s improvement and just how bad he was last year.

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