North American Juniors

Rookie Camp Roster Announced

(Tampa Bay Lightning press release) The Tampa Bay Lightning will open their 2011 Rookie Camp with fitness testing and physicals at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum on Friday, September 9, the team announced today. The prospects will hit the ice in Brandon the following day, Saturday, September 10.

For the first time in franchise history the Lightning prospects will travel to the Saveology.com Iceplex in Coral Springs, Florida for a three-team rookie tournament which begins Sunday, September 11. The tournament will also feature prospects from the Florida Panthers and
Nashville Predators. The camp and tournament schedule is as follows:

Prospect Roster Speculation - Forwards

Last week we looked at which defensemen and goaltenders could see time with the Lightning this year. Today, we take a look at the forwards.

Unlike the defensemen and goalies, figuring out which forward prospects could make the team out of camp and which ones could earn a call-up is far from simple. Therefore, we’ll break down the candidates individually.

First, the givens, in no particular order: Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, Ryan Malone, Teddy Purcell, Ryan Shannon, Nate Thompson, Dominic Moore, Steve Downie, Adam Hall.

These 10 forwards, combined with the eight defensemen Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman expects to keep, as well as two goaltenders, leaves three roster spots open. Head Coach Guy Boucher will likely switch between dressing six and seven defensemen, meaning of the three forward spots open only one is guaranteed to play. It is also possible the team could carry only 12 forwards as they did last season in spurts.

While Yzerman, Boucher, and management say roster spots will be earned in a meritocracy system - and that is what the players need to hear - in today’s NHL, contract status (not necessarily salary in this case) plays a huge part in roster management. Also high on the list is the opportunity for development-rich playing time.

The Lightning currently have 44 players under contract on their 50-man organizational roster, including Brett Connolly, who only counts if he plays more than nine games at the NHL level.

Here’s a look at the candidates to fill the three open forward positions with the 2011-2012 Tampa Bay Lightning.

Prospect Roster Speculation - Goaltenders and Defensemen

With the dog days of summer upon us there’s not much hockey talk these days unless it's shooting down a ridiculous trade rumor.

Sure, Brian Rolston, who was property of the Tampa Bay Lightning for what seemed like an hour a few years ago, was traded this week, but there hasn’t been much going on except roster speculation.

So, we'll take our turn and speculate on next year’s Lightning roster and how the club’s prospects factor in.

Today is rather easy: goaltenders and defense.

Vladimir Namestnikov:Pre-Draft Reviews

With their first pick of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the Lightning chose Russian center Vladislav Namestnikov of the London Knights.

Here’s what scouts and prospect followers have said about the newest Bolt prospect:

Name: Vladislav Namestnikov
Position: Center
Shoots: Left
Height: 6.00
Weight: 166
Born: 11/22/1992, Voskresensk, Russia
Last Team: London (OHL)
Rankings: CSS 11 (NA Skaters), RLR 25 (Overall), THN 36 (Overall), TSN 31 (Overall)

Stats: 68 games played, 30-38-68, 49 PIM, +12
Playoffs: 6 games played, 1-4-5, 6 PIM

Report: Bolts Re-sign Angelidis

Renaud Lavoie of RDS reports the Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed Norfolk Admirals forward Mike Angelidis to a one year, two-way contract worth $525,000.

Angelidis had 20 goals and 38 points last season for AHL Norfolk, his first with the organization since signing as a free agent last August. The former 53-goal scorer for Owen Sound of the OHL also added 169 penalty minutes and a plus-18 rating for the Admirals.

Like last season, Angelidis, 25, is expected to provide a gritty, veteran presence in Norfolk, as well as organizational depth at forward if needed.

The Lightning announced the signing late Wednesday, making it official.

The Bolts signed Angelidis' Norfolk teammate, Mike Vernace, earlier this week. Both were scheduled to be unrestricted free agents July 1.

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