We can dissect this thing in comments, but I just want to throw these rankings out as Exhibit A as to why we do things the way we do here at Bolt Prospects. Hockey's Future has a habit of releasing their first rankings either before or during teams' training camps and preseason games and their final rankings before the hockey season finishes. We do the opposite (and do a midseason set of rankings) and the reason we do it should be pretty clear.
For instance, they have Mike Lundin at 14. Now it appears Lundin might have a 50/50 or better shot of making the Lightning's opening night roster. How is that going to reflect on HF's rankings if they have Lundin at 14 when he's in the NHL? That's why we do our rankings in early October after camp and the preseason is over.
It only takes a couple of good weeks of camp, a couple of good preseason games, and one or two injuries for a middle of the pack prospect to dramatically improve their stock and radically alter the landscape of a team's system. And it happens all the time in the NHL.
That is very well what Lundin may be doing right now, and why we're going to wait to see how this plays out before passing any judgements. It's fair. It's prudent. It's the right thing to do. We wish HF's upper management would adopt the same policy. It would improve the quality of their product.
Erik Erlendsson has the lineup for tonight's game against Detroit.
At first blush, it looks like Karri Ramo is going to get the start tonight in net. Count me as in favor of Ramo having about a 34 save shutout tonight and really putting the Lightning brass under the gun. A little controversy is healthy.
More importantly though, Torts is going with seven defensemen and it looks to me like these might be the seven he is currently thinking of keeping in Tampa while Dan Boyle recovers from wrist surgery. Doug Janik and Bryce Lampman will be the #5 and #6 defensemen tonight while Mike Lundin will be the #7. Is this a signal that Matt Smaby is on the outside looking in?
The Lightning's first round of cuts have been posted on tampabaylightning.com. All have been assigned to Norfolk.
The battle for the last defensive spot goes down to Smaby, Lundin, Bryce Lampman, and Doug Janik.
According to numerous published reports it appears the Lightning will be cutting 7 players from their roster after Saturday's preseason game against the Caps. Here's my initial thoughts on the seven who will go (subject to change based on performance in the Washington game, of course):
A little excitement to send the people home happy in preseason!
Marc Denis stopped 35 of 38 faced for the win. Brad Richards led the way with assists in triplicate. Goals came from Andreas Karlsson, Jason Ward, Kyle Wanvig, and Mathieu Darche. Filip Kuba, Shane O'Brien, and Mike Lundin added individual helpers.
Darche looks like the big winner on the night getting 21:46 of ice time, the game winning goal, registering 7 shots, and having a +1 rating. And 5 hits too? This after a scrimmage hat trick yesterday? Mr. Darche, you sir are making an impact.
Bryce Lampman and Mike Lundin also checking in with well over 20 minutes of look-see a piece. Both were even.
Kyle Wanvig checked in with 16:07 of ice time and a +1 rating with 4 hits and a penalty shot goal, possibly keeping his bubble from bursting and running Karl Stewart to the state of Virginia.
Mike Lundin arrived at Lightning training camp last week and did his best not to be star-struck at the amount of star power assembled in Tampa Bay's locker room.
Following a four-year career at the University of Maine where he posted 12 goals and 58 points in 159 games, the 2004 fourth-round draft pick enters his first year as a professional trying to find his place within the organizational roster.
Judging from his first few days of camp, his stock might be higher than previously thought.
To read the rest of the feature, see the Tampa Tribune.
Prospect photos from the 2007-2008 Tampa Bay Lightning Training Camp. Photos courtesy of Kathy Cauwels.
According to Tampabaylightning.com, day one of camp scrimmages ended in a 1-1 tie between Team Black and Team White. Team White's goal was scored by winger Kyle Wanvig off assists from Brad Richards and Doug Janik while Team Black's goal was scored by Vincent Lecavalier off assists from Vaclav Prospal and Paul Ranger.
Wanvig and Janik continue to make a strong impression after good showings in camp during physical testing on Thursday and Friday. Erik Erlendsson also notes in his blog that Wanvig was displaying a strong physical presence throughout the game to go with his goal. The Lightning's top-12 forwards appeared to be set going into training camp, but Wanvig appears to be playing his way into the discussion of who will be the first forward called up at the very least.
Erlendsson notes none of the defensemen vying for the team's #6 and #7 defenseman jobs separated from the pack, and that all three goaltenders played well with wunderkind Karri Ramo stopping 16 of 16 shots faced including a penalty shot by rookie pro Mike Lundin.