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Pete's Rankings: 20-16

Prospects 20-16 feature a disappointing former 2nd round pick, three young forwards and the first goaltender to be revealed in the Lightning's Top-25. Check it out:

Pete's Rankings: 25-21

Last night marked the conclusion of the Lightning prospect season as the London Knights won the Memorial Cup shutting out Rimouski 4-0 in the championship game. Boltsprospects offers congratulations to the Hunters and the entire Knights organization for assembling what will go down as perhaps the greatest junior team in the history of Canadian hockey. With all the games played and the offseason commencing, I will begin to post who I feel are the Lightning's top-25 prospects 5 prospects at a time. Today, I offer prospects 25-21:

Pete's Rankings: Honorable Mentions

We're closing in on the Memorial Cup tournament in which four Lightning junior prospects will compete for the CHL's junior prize. The tournament not only represents the highest stakes in all of Canadian junior hockey, but it will also represent the end of another Lightning prospect season. With that in mind I began over the weekend to blog my rankings of the Lightning's best prospects beginning with the team's Top-5 Overage Prospects. When the Memorial Cup concludes I will begin, 5 prospects at a time, to count down my Lightning Top-25 prospects, but today I want to focus on five players who didn't quite make the cut but who are still worthy of mention. Without further adieu, and in no particular order, here are the Honorable Mentions for the Lightning's Top-25 Prospects:

Pete's Rankings: Overage Prospects

Over the next few weeks, as we come to finale of the prospect season with the Memorial Cup which will feature four of the organization's prospects, I will be blogging my own organizational rankings 5 prospects at a time beginning today with the overagers. By the time it is complete, I will be releasing my Top-5 Overage Lightning Prospects, my Top-25 Lightning prospects along with some Honorable Mentions who missed the cut. So lets begin... First off, what is an "Overage Prospect"? For the sake of these rankings I am counting any prospect who will be 24 years of age or older by the start of next season who has played less than a half a season (41 games) at the NHL level. These are older players, mostly playing in Europe, who I feel could step in immediately and provide utility for the Lightning organization either at the NHL or AHL level. With many of them, because they play in Europe, money is an issue in signing these prospects as they are already handsomely compensated overseas for being some of the best in their respective nation's club leagues, so it's not feasible to sign all of them. Still, if you're looking for some immediate impact, these are the Lightning's Top-5 Overage Prospects:

Site Update

For thise few brave souls who have stumbled onto this site and are wondering what the status of our blog is... As of right now we are tentatively aiming for a full site launch in the Fall. It was our original intention to launch in December/January with the full content package to coincide with what we hoped would be the end of the NHL labor dispute. Unfortunately, thanks to Messers Bettman and Goodenow that didn't happen. Now we are guessing (hoping) both sides can conclude their squabbles by August or so and that we can get back to goals and assists as opposed to salary caps. In the meantime we are going to move with some deliberation towards updating and revamping the site software (with much love to resident cyber guru and fellow Tech grad and Boltprospects founder Tim) before we start to fill in the content for the site which will include new organizational rankings, draft coverage, game threads etc etc.

Holmqvist Leaving Springfield

[url=http://www.expressen.se/index.jsp?a=269379]Reports out of Sweden [/url] indicate that defenseman Andreas Holmqvist will be returning to Linkopings for next season after spending parts of the last two seasons in the Lightning organization with Hamilton, Pensacola and Springfield. According to the story, the former 2001 2nd round pick will be joining his older brother Michael, a Ducks prospect, with the Linkopings club. The news comes at a time where speculation is increasing about the Lightning signing North Dakota defenseman and 2003 2nd round pick Matt Smaby for placement with the Falcons next season.

BP Maintenance Today

I'll be doing maintenance on the BP site today (March 25). If you access, the site may not behave properly. I'll repost when all is well again.

Polushin Back in the Superleague (And Russia Update)

Just a quick note on talented former 2001 second round pick Alexander Polushin: It appears the Cold War between he and Coach Bykov may finally be thawing. After spending much of the season relegated to the First/Farm League, Polushin has suited up for the last three games for CSKA. The move might've been a last desperate effort my Bykov to make the playoffs as CSKA was all but eliminated from contention Saturday at the hands of Nikolai Khabibulin and Vincent Lecavalier's Ak Bars Kazan 5-2. CSKA sits in 10th place behind 8th place Nizhnekamsk with just three games left to go in the regular season. The Russian Superleague tabulates their standings by awarding 3 points for a win. Polushin now has 3 goals and 7 points in 15 games at the Superleague level. At last check, he also had 13 goals and 23 points in 21 games in the First League as well.

Pelicans A Strike Back!

After a sour start to the Junior A playoffs that saw [url=http://www.sm-liiga.fi/finhockey2/sjl_tulospalvelu_popup.asp?ottelu_id=33339&TID=1451&ilman=true]Karri Ramo drop the first game of the series 7-2[/url], Ramo and Pelicans A struck back today to tie the series at 1-1. Buoyed by a [url=http://www.sm-liiga.fi/finhockey2/sjl_tulospalvelu_popup.asp?ottelu_id=33343&TID=1451&ilman=true]first star performance that saw Ramo stop 31 of 32 shots, Pelicans A beat TPS A 2-1 today to even the best of five.[/url] Game Three is slated for tomorrow, March 7th. Ramo's resiliance in staking his team to a very important 2-1 win was undeniable today. Many young goaltenders' confidence and focus might have been shattered after seeing a shutout streak of 194:51 dissolve into a horrendous 4 goal third period like the one Ramo faced in Game One against TPS A. However, just as Ramo has already proven he has the advanced maturity to compete at the SM-liiga level this season, he proved today he also has the maturity to put aside a bad loss and once again elevate his game when the chips are down. Now with the series knotted up the Cinderella Pelicans A have shortened their series against second seed TPS A into a best of three where anything can happen.
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