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Prospect of the Week: 4-1-15

We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Bolt Prospect of the Week for April 1, 2015 is … Cameron Darcy, C, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL – Canada).

The QMJHL’s second season started last week and Cameron Darcy began with a bang.

The Lightning’s seventh round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft had a hat trick and five points in Game 2 of Sherbrooke’s first round series against Charlottetown. The Phoenix had lost the first game by a large margin and were sitting on the cliff of falling down 2-0 in the series at home. Darcy was named the game’s first star.

The Boston native followed up his Game 2 performance with two more goals in Game 3, a loss by the Phoenix on Prince Edward Island. His two goals gave him five goals and seven points in two games, and our Bolt Prospect of the Week award.

What to Expect from Slater Koekkoek

The Tampa Bay Lightning recalled defenseman Slater Koekkoek from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Koekkoek, 21, has skated in 66 games with the Crunch this season, posting five goals and 24 points to go along with 40 penalty minutes. He leads all Syracuse defensemen for assists (19) and points. The Mountain, Ontario native also ranks tied for fifth among AHL rookie defensemen for points. Koekkoek made his professional debut on October 12, 2014 against Hartford.

The 6-foot-2, 197-pound defenseman skated in 195 career Ontario Hockey League games over four seasons, recording 33 goals and 123 points. Koekkoek set career highs for goals (15), assists (38) and points (53) in his final OHL season in 2013-14 with the Windsor Spitfires.

Koekkoek was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the first round, 10th overall, at the 2012 NHL Draft.

What to expect:

Point Looks to Contribute While Learning With Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Brayden Point is in a position to chip in immediately.

After averaging more than a point with Moose Jaw of the Western Hockey League over the past three-plus seasons, Point has a chance to step in and contribute offensively with the Syracuse Crunch. The center, who is getting a taste of the pro game in his stint with Syracuse, was flanked by Crunch leading goalscorer Yanni Gourde and former Tampa Bay Lightning first round pick Carter Ashton during his American Hockey League debut against Rochester Saturday.

“Obviously the coaching staff has given me a good opportunity to play with some real talented players that have had success at this level,” Point said. “It’s definitely an opportunity for me, and I’m trying to make the most of it.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 23

This week's “Petr Svoboda Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 23
· Brayden Point joins Syracuse
· What’s next for Adam Wilcox, Matt Peca, and Brendan O’Donnell?
· Stamkos vs Bishop
· Interview with Tanner Richard
· #BPMailbag (Why is D so passive? … Building a team core with TB players/prospects 21 and under … Stamkos’ confidence growing? … Off-season free agent targets … TB prospects in NHL top-50)

Click here to listen

To listen on Lightning Radio, go to TBLPowerPlay.com.

Crunch's Richard Provides Physicality, Playmaking Ability


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Tanner Richard is at his best when he is playing his game and taking his opponents off theirs.

The Crunch center has registered a point in nine out of his last 13 games to cement himself among Syracuse’s top scorers. But Crunch Head Coach Rob Zettler believes a big part of Richard’s success comes down to being tough to play against.

“He’s getting back to being a bit of a pain in the butt out there, which is when he’s good,” Zettler said. “He just seems more engaged physically, and more engaged in moving his feet down low and on the cycle plays offensively.”

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