We continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Prospect of the Week for January 20, 2014 is … Mark Barberio, D, Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL – USA).
That word could be used for a multitude of things this week: Finally, a defenseman wins our Prospect of the Week award; finally, he’s cutting his hair; or finally, he scored his first NHL goal. Any way you look at it, it’s all about Lightning rookie defenseman Mark Barberio, who actually scored his first two NHL goals on Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Barberio, the former AHL Eddie Shore Plaque winner for best defenseman, has had a rough rookie season for the Lightning. As an offense-first defenseman, he’s been learning how to play defense-first in the NHL and it hasn’t been always been going well. Sure, Barberio has looked like an NHLer in the offensive third, showing the passing and vision that helped him to 61 points as a second year professional with Norfolk and 42 points a year later with Syracuse as a Second Team All-Star. But there are three zones and in the other two he’s looked like a newborn deer trying to walk… on ice.