Nick Tarnasky


Out of Organization
Left Wing
Rocky Mountain House, ALTA
Traded to the Nashville Predators on September 29, 2008 for a conditional 2009 pick
Last Team: 
Projects As: 
Energy line forward
Grad Date: 

Draft Info

Draft Status: 
Draft Year: 
Draft Type: 
NHL Entry Draft
Drafted By: 
Tampa Bay Lightning
Pick No.: 
Draft Team: 
Lethbridge (WHL)


Contract Status: 
Waiver Status: 
Waiver Eligible
Signing Date: 
Contract Length: 
3 years
Cap Number: 
$525 000
Contract End Status: 
$525 000
$550 000



Junior Career

The career of Nick Tarnasky has been a study in exceeding expectations. Despite not being drafted in the WHL Bantam Draft the Rocky Mountain House, Alberta native broke into major junior with the Vancouver Giants at age 17 in 2001-2002. Coming out of the Drayton Valley AJHL program where he had 7 goals and 11 points in 20 games before playing a 10 game stint with the Giants. That January, however, Tarnasky's junior rights were traded to Kelowna of the WHL where he spent half of the 2002-2003 season before being traded to the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL. Tarnasky combined for 9 goals and 29 points in 69 games that year and was ranked #166 amongst all North American skaters by the NHL Central Scouting Service before the Lightning selected him late in the 9th round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. With the Hurricanes Tarnasky finally found a home leading the last place club in scoring with 26 goals and 49 points in 71 games. For his efforts Tarnasky was selected the Hurricanes' player of the year.

Professional Career

Tarnasky was signed in the summer of 2004 at just age 19 and was the youngest member of the Springfield Falcons during the 2004-2005 lockout season. Prior to the season Tarnasky earned rave reviews scoring 1 goal and 3 points in 3 games for the Lightning in the annual Traverse City prospect tournament. In the AHL, Tarnasky joined fellow prospect Ryan Craig as the only two Falcons to suit up and play in all 80 games scoring 7 goals and 17 points with 176 penalty minutes and winning Springfield's True Grit Award when season honors were handed out. When the lockout concluded in the summer of 2005 Tarnasky showed up to Lightning camp in the best shape of any player and was the second to last forward cut from the team. Tarnasky was sent back to Springfield of the AHL where he remained until being recalled along with Evgeny Artyukhin for the Lightning October 20, 2005 game against the Atlanta Thrashers. Tarnasky scored his first NHL point with an assist on November 5th, 2005 against the Toronto Maple Leafs but was sent back to Springfield on November 9th.

Scouting Report


Tarnasky has good size and strength and a high fitness level. His skating is somewhat average but he compensates with hustle. Tarnasky loves to hit and work along the wall and do many of the dirty jobs that are necessary on a successful hockey club. His work ethic may be the strongest of any prospect in the Lightning organization and he is an emerging leader amongst the team's youth. He has no problem dropping the gloves to defend his teammates.


His understanding of both the offensive and defensive side of the game are still rudimentary. He doesn't have terrible hands as evidenced by his last season of junior, but he hasn't been much of an offensive threat as a pro and likely never will be. His skating still needs some work, particularly his initial burst, if he's going to compete at the NHL level.


The Lightning organization loves Tarnasky and sees him as a regular on their checking lines in the future. His offensive upside is probably very limited, but he could have a long career as a physical energy type player who plays responsible defense and can be used regularly on the penalty kill.


Player statistics powered by

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 1999-2000 Leduc Oil Kings U15 AAAAEHL U1536 21 1132 59|        
 2000-2001 Leduc Oil Kings U18 AAAAEHL U1835 39 2968 95|        
  Prince Albert RaidersWHL2 0 00 4|        
 2001-2002 Delta Ice HawksPIJHL1 1 12 0|        
  Drayton Valley ThunderAJHL20 7 411 10|        
  Vancouver GiantsWHL10 1 01 5|        
 2002-2003 Kelowna RocketsWHL39 4 1216 39|        
  Lethbridge HurricanesWHL30 5 813 45|        
 2003-2004 Lethbridge HurricanesWHL71 26 2349 108|        
 2004-2005 Springfield FalconsAHL80 7 1017 176|        
 2005-2006 Tampa Bay LightningNHL12 0 11 4|        
  Springfield FalconsAHL68 14 923 100|        
 2006-2007 Tampa Bay LightningNHL77 5 49 80|Playoffs6 0 00 10 
 2007-2008 Tampa Bay LightningNHL80 6 410 78|        
 2008-2009 Nashville PredatorsNHL11 0 11 17|        
  Florida PanthersNHL34 1 56 33|        
 2009-2010 Florida PanthersNHL31 1 23 85|        
  Rochester AmericansAHL5 3 03 7|        
 2010-2011 Florida EverbladesECHL3 1 23 0|        
  Springfield FalconsAHL66 7 1320 150|        
 2011-2012 Vityaz PodolskKHL36 5 712 173|        
 2012-2013 Rochester AmericansAHL74 16 1026 138|Playoffs3 1 01
 2013-2014 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL76 13 922 144|        
 2014-2015 Hartford Wolf PackAHL26 1 45 36|        
 2015-2016 Hartford Wolf PackAHL59 15 520 77|        
 2016-2017 San Diego GullsAHL32 4 59 53|        

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