Lightning Announce Prospect Development Camp Roster
The Tampa Bay Lightning announced the schedule and roster for the team’s annual Development Camp, to be held from July 2-6 at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum. The roster currently consists of a total of 26 players, 15 forwards, seven defensemen and four goaltenders. The camp is free and open to the public.
The camp will feature some of the Lightning’s top prospects competing in on and off-ice workouts, skating drills and will culminate with the annual 3-on-3 tournament on Saturday and Sunday. Once again the tournament will be streamed LIVE on www.TampaBayLightning.com.
The third overall selection of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Jonathan Drouin, will make his second Lightning Development Camp appearance, as will highly-touted goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy who will be making his North American debut in 2014-15. Lightning fans will recognize goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis and forward Cedric Paquette from their time with the Bolts last season. Former first-round selection Slater Koekkoek will also be in attendance.
Of those players attending the camp, there are three invitees, including Hobey Baker candidate, Mike Richter Trophy finalist, and Brandon native Clay Witt from Northeastern University. There are also three players who were signed as free agents, and 19 draftees. The drafted players feature six from the 2013 draft, eight from the 2012 draft, three from 2011 and two from 2010.
Draftee Breakdown: Attendees by Country:
1st Round: 3 Canada: 11
2nd Round: 3 United States: 7
3rd Round: 1 Russia: 4
4th Round: 2 Finland: 2
5th Round: 2 Latvia: 1
6th Round: 4 Switzerland: 1
7th Round: 4
2010 Draft: 2
2011 Draft: 3
2012 Draft: 8
2013 Draft: 6
It's always interesting to see who gets the free agent invitations to camps. We've seen previously that some invitations lead to contracts, be it AHL or NHL (Sustr, Kunyk, Neilsen, Parent). Cam Maclise is a big, potential power forward out of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. The Brooks captain was formally and Edmonton Oil King in the WHL. Power forwards are slow developers, so it's possible Maclise, who had 27 goals and 83 points in 59 games two years ago, could have an AHL contract with Syracuse in his future if he shows well. Maclise tried out for the LA Kings last summer after leading the Bandits to the AJHL championship. He earned another invitation to the Kings' rookie camp before completing his first season with the University of New Brunswick. He finished with one goal and nine points in 28 games.
In addition to size on the forward lines, the other need for improvement on the farm we've identified is offense-first defensemen (particularly righties) and the Lightning are bringing in Kodie Curran, who just finished with 25 points in 23 games for the University of Calgary (though he is a lefty). He's another who's now on contract watch. Curran was named the AJHL's top defenseman three times prior to playing for the UC Dinos. Curran, who was late finishing high school, committed to Western Ontario originally and was in talks with Nebraska-Omaha about joining that program, but ended up with Calgary. Had he gone to UNO he would have been Sustr's teammate.
The biggest name outside of the obvious drafted prospects is Clay Witt, who was a Hobey Baker finalist for Northeastern University. He's a big goaltender who's athletic and put up good numbers last season (2.37 GAA, .932 sv%, 4 SO). With the No. 5 goaltender spot open in the organization, Witt is currently the leader in the clubhouse for that spot, be it on an AHL or NHL contract.
Pictured: Adam Wilcox, University of Minnesota