Name: Geoffery Schemitsch
Weight: 169 lbs
Born: 4/1/1992, Toronto, ON
Last Team: Owen Sound (OHL)
Rankings: CSS 123 (North American Skaters), RLR 150 (Overall), THN 49 (Overall)
Owen Sound (OHL), 62 GP, 4-36-40, +1, 24 PIM
"Fine offensive skills. Next body contact will be his first." -Red Line Report
Schemitsch has come out of nowhere as an undrafted player in the OHL to put up 40 points last season for the Owen Sound Attack. He's a solid, although not explosive, skater who is an outstanding passer of the puck. He's a cerebral, finesse style player. Should be a good fit for Guy Boucher's 1-3-1 system.
Schemitsch is very slightly built and that shows up in his reluctance in the physical game. Seems allergic to to taking the body.
Like Janosik and Beukeboom, the Lightning will allow Schemitsch to spend the next two seasons in junior trying to fill the holes in his game before making a signing decision. He's got a long enough frame that he should be able to put on some weight. The question is whether he'll use it to actually hit anyone once he puts it on.
Name: Adam Janosik
Weight: 170 lbs
Born: 9/7/1992, Spiska Nova Ves, Slovakia
Last Team: Sault Ste Marie (OHL)
Rankings: CSS 176 (North American Skaters), RLR 105 (Overall), THN 49 (Overall)
Gatineau (QMJHL), 63 GP, 9-26-35, +14, 45 PIM
Gatineau (QMJHL Playoffs), 10 GP, 5-2-7, -6, 4 PIM
"Smallish d-man has the tools to become a power play specialist." -Red Line Report
The young Slovakian may be a perfect fit for Guy Boucher's 1-3-1 system. He's a good skater and loves to handle the puck and handles it well. Excellent puck rusher who also is fantastic puck distributor on the power play. For a small player, he makes good decisions in his own end and moves the puck out of danger decisively. He doesn't turn 18 until September, so he has plenty of time to grow up, and in an ideal world he might grow another one to two inches in height and put on another fifteen to twenty pounds.
He's very small and not physically able to compete in one-on-one battles, even though he tries hard. Positioning in his defensive third requires further refinement.
Because he's so young, the Lightning can take their time with Janosik. Ideally, he'd spend another couple of seasons with Gatineau getting bigger and stronger and developing his game. Red Line Report projects Janosik has a number seven defenseman and power play specialist with a skill set like Mark Streit.
Name: Radko Gudas
Weight: 189 lbs
Born: 6/5/1990, Prague, Czech Republic
Last Team: Everett (WHL)
Rankings: CSS 91 (North American Skaters), RLR 147 (Overall), THN NR (Overall)
Everett (WHL), 65 GP, 7-30-37, +45, 151 PIM
Everett (WHL Playoffs), 3 GP, 0-2-2, E, 4 PIM
"Ultra competitive prick to play against." -Red Line Report
An older prospect who turned 20 in June, Gudas has earned a reputation as one of the biggest hitters in this draft class. He competes hard, and despite his small frame he loves to take the body. Red Line rates Gudas the third biggest pest in this draft class and compares his demeanor to that of a pit bull. Was named a Western Conference Second Team All-Star this season, partly because he also has the ability to move the puck resonably well and he has decent mobility.
Stickhandling is considered poor and his decision-making with the puck needs refinement. Because he's two years older than most of the prospects in this draft, what you see is what you get, to an extent. He's not going to get much bigger than his current size, although his tenacity compensates for his stature.
Because of his age, the Lightning could sign him immediately and send him to Norfolk of the AHL. He's got a lot of experience, having played 14 games for Kladno in the Czech Extraliga two years ago and 65 games in the Czech second tier league with Beroun between 2006 and 2009. He also was a training camp invitee of the Kings last Fall, so he won't be entering his first NHL training camp. With one or two seasons of refinement, he could make it to the NHL as an energetic third pairing blueliner and world class pest.
Name: Brock Beukeboom
Weight: 202 lbs
Born: 4/1/1992, Greenwich, CT
Last Team: Sault Ste Marie (OHL)
Rankings: CSS 41 (North American Skaters), RLR 68 (Overall), THN 49 (Overall)
Sault Ste Marie (OHL), 66 GP, 7-19-26, -9, 64 PIM
SaulT Ste Marie (OHL Playoffs), 1 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM
"Even though he plays a physical, competitive game, he has less grit tha his father, but more talent." -THN
Buekeboom has good bloodlines, with his father being the son of former Rangers defenseman Jeff Beukeboom. He's got good straight line mobility, likes to take the body, and has a cannon shot that he's deployed on the power play for Sault this season. Cleans up the front of his net.
Beukeboom is coachable and a quick learner, but he still needs to refine his decision making. Prone to move the puck blindly or hold onto it too long. His shot takes a long time to release, as well, and he sometimes struggles with accuracy. Needs to work on his pivots.
Beukeboom likely will need a couple of years in junior to develop before the Lightning sign him and bring him into the pro ranks. He has offensive upside, but it remains to be seen if it develops over the next couple of years. Red Line Report projects Beukeboom to be a solid number five defenseman who plays a style like Francois Beauchemin.
Wow, what a night. Things went to plan for three picks and then everything descended into slow moving chaos. The Blue Jackets took the guy I, personally, thought the Lightning would end up with at the fourth pick, the Islanders took the guy half the internet thought was going to the Lightning with the fifth pick, and then the Lightning decided not to take the guy everyone thought they would take with the sixth pick, as Brandon Gormley and Cam Fowler spiraled down the draft board in the mild hockey equivalent of an Aaron Rodgers/Brady Quinn draft free fall.
What to make of Brett Connolly, though? There's absolutely no doubt his athleticism and skill are world class, or at least they were prior to his injuries. Connolly's agent wouldn't allow teams to perform an MRI on prior to the draft to verify its soundness, so one wonders how the Lightning made an informed decision about it. Between his hips and some talk of structural weakness in his hand, I seriously wonder if the Lightning have drafted a guy who will end up being a part time player like Buffalo's Tim Connolly. Adding to my fears was a post-draft interview on TSN that did nothing to disspell whispers I've heard about Connolly's attitude. He looked annoyed and bored, all at the same time, and I'm wondering what is going on in his head. Is he going to carry a chip on his shoulder into the rest of the offseason and training camp to show the world that not only are his hips healthy, but that he was indeed the best player in this draft class? Or is Connolly already a little burned out by the scrutiny that comes with being a premiere prospect? Seriously, after watching the interview and after my making a big deal of how badly Connolly came across, the BoltProspects staff reviewed several pieces of interview footage, and we've come to the unnerving conclusion Connolly may be incapable of emoting genuine happiness.
Smile, man. You just were selected in the top ten of the NHL draft.