Tarnasky, Nick

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

Draft Info

Draft Status: 
Draft Year: 
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 www.eliteprospects.com

 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|        

Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com

NHL Game Night 1/24: Senators at Lightning

Lightning enter All-Star break with a thud.


Johan Holmqvist allowed 3 goals on 14 shots in the first period before being pulled for Karri Ramo who allowed 5 goals on 12 shots the rest of the way to take the loss.

First Period
Ottawa 13:43, Daniel Alfredsson 30 (Antoine Vermette)
Ottawa 14:12, Jason Spezza 17 (Randy Robitaille, Daniel Alfredsson)
Ottawa 18:41, Daniel Alfredsson 31 (power play) (Jason Spezza, Andrej Meszaros)

Second Period
Ottawa 4:38, Daniel Alfredsson 32 (shorthanded) (Mike Fisher)
Ottawa 9:36, Antoine Vermette 11 (Daniel Alfredsson, Wade Redden)
Tampa Bay 13:51, Dan Boyle 1 (unassisted)

Third Period
Ottawa 1:39, Randy Robitaille 8 (Daniel Alfredsson)
Tampa Bay 1:59, Nick Tarnasky 4 (Brad Lukowich)
Ottawa 3:58, Dean McAmmond 6 (Chris Neil, Mike Fisher)
Tampa Bay 5:07, Craig MacDonald 2 (Andre Roy, Nick Tarnasky)
Tampa Bay 15:17, Dan Boyle 2 (Paul Ranger, Martin St. Louis)
Ottawa 16:33, Jason Spezza 18 (Andrej Meszaros, Wade Redden)

The good news is the Lightning got Dan Boyle back from injury and he promptly potted a pair of goals.

Plaudits for Nick Tarnasky's 1 goal and 1 assist.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 1/12: Lightning at Panthers

The Pussy Cats FEAR #74.


Johan Holmqvist allowed 3 goals on 30 shots for the win.

First Period
Florida 0:38, Olli Jokinen 21 (Bryan Allen)
Tampa Bay 10:39, Nick Tarnasky 2 (Craig MacDonald, Mathieu Darche)

Second Period
Tampa Bay 2:00, Jan Hlavac 7 (Jason Ward, Chris Gratton)
Tampa Bay 3:06, Nick Tarnasky 3 (Shane O'Brien, Craig MacDonald)

Third Period
Tampa Bay 9:15, Brad Richards 12 (Vaclav Prospal, Martin St. Louis)
Florida 14:59, David Booth 11 (Jassen Cullimore, Stephen Weiss)
Florida 18:31, Brett McLean 4 (Magnus Johansson, Jay Bouwmeester)
Tampa Bay 19:44, Brad Richards 13 (empty net) (Martin St. Louis)

#74 got out of the press box and popped in 2 goals. THAT is how you respond to being scratched. Very nice. I'm happy for 'nasty.

Mathieu Darche had an assist and was +2 in 11:08 with 1 shot and 2 hits. I think Torts is finally starting to zero in on where the sweet spots are in terms of ice time for the checking liners. It's a shame it took until January to get here.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

HF- "Lets Just Pretend Mike Lundin Doesn't Exist"

What gives HF? Seriously.

Look, we're long past the point of expecting anything resembling objectivity considering one of your top writers was once quoted as claiming Blair Jones was "trash" because he was a 4th round pick, but can you guys at least acknowledge that Mike Lundin (another 4th round pick, so I guess that makes him "trash" too) has made the NHL? Is that really too much to ask?

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