Features

Articles that are feature stories.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 44

This week's “Roman Hamrlik Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 44
· The first Bolt prospect
· Hamrlik vs Hedman
· #TampaCuse to the rescue
· A reluctant shake-up
· Three regulars raising their games
· Player-by-player trend report for Syracuse
· Interview with Syracuse’s Daniel Walcott

Note: The #BPMailbag will be a text edition this week, posted to the site soon.

Walcott Embraces Utility Role With Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

However he gets into the lineup, Daniel Walcott wants to make the most of his opportunity.

A natural defenseman, Walcott changed positions last weekend after multiple call-ups left the Syracuse Crunch short a few forwards. The 21-year-old rookie responded by registering his first professional point Friday.

With Syracuse boasting a deep blueline, Walcott is willing to help out on the ice wherever he can.

“I was pretty fortunate that they trusted me to be the extra forward instead of bringing in someone else,” Walcott said. “They could have easily done that, but they take care of their prospects. … I’ve been waiting a while to get back in a game here, so it felt good. I have to work hard and show that I can go wherever they need me.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 43

This week's “Kyle Freadrich Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 43
· Best fight in Lightning history
· What’s changed with TB since last week?
· Internal shake-up options
· Opposing coaches single out TB’s problems
· Did a coach just call the Lightning soft?
· Player-by-player trend report
· Interview with Syracuse’s Matt Peca

Note: The #BPMailbag will be a text edition this week, posted to the site soon.

Bolt Prospect of the Week

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 the week ending November 17 is … Brian Hart, W, Greenville Swamp Rabbits (ECHL).

It's not often that the BP POTW award goes to a guy outside of our Top-25 rankings, which makes it extra special for Hart, who's finding his way in his first pro season in an organization with a deep pool of forward prospects.

The Lightning’s 2012 second round selection currently leads the Greenville Swamp Rabbits with 6 goals in 12 games, and all but one of those goals scored on the doorstep of the goal crease. This past weekend he scored twice in three games, including Saturday night's 3rd period game-winner against Adirondack that earned him First Star honors for the game.

Hart was drafted by the Lightning's Amateur Scouting group headed by Al Murray out of the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, then suited up for Harvard a year after Alex Killorn led the Crimson in scoring his senior year. Hart spent the last three years playing for Harvard, earning an ECAC championship with the Crimson last season and signing a three-year entry-level contract with the Lightning on June 28th. Hart's six goals in his first 12 pro games is one shy of his single season best of seven that he scored last year with Harvard.

Peca Getting Comfortable, Consistent With Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Matthew Peca’s goals in back-to-back games looked eerily similar.

The Syracuse Crunch center picked the puck off the half wall, danced through multiple defenders to the slot, and wristed a shot into the back of the net. Peca used his speed and skill to get into prime scoring areas, and was rewarded with three points in his last two games.

Peca is getting more comfortable and consistent as he continues to develop during his rookie season.

“Over the last couple weeks his game has been more consistent,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “He’s skating a little more consistently, he’s starting to protect pucks down low, and you see these goals he is scoring off the half wall and moving into the high traffic areas -- that’s where he’s really good. He just needs to get there often and use his speed to his advantage.”

Bolt Prospect of the Week

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 the week ending November 10 is … Brayden Point, C, Moose Jaw Warriors, Team WHL.

I hope Brayden Point has a big trophy case, he’s probably going to need some extra room this year.

The Lightning’s 2014 third round steal currently leads the Western Hockey League in scoring with 16 goals and 39 points in 16 games. That six points ahead of his closest competitor despite playing two fewer games. This past week-plus he had 15 points in Moose Jaw games, including a hat trick/five-point night on Saturday against Prince Albert. He was originally credited with four goals that game, but the league made a late scoring change. It was his seventh career hat trick.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 42

This week's “Dana Tyrell Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 42
· Lightning lose a response game. At home. To Buffalo.
· Not buying the this year/last year no-comparison comment.
· Cut the damn cord.
· Your move, Steve.
· Cranky questions from the #BPMailbag
· Interview with Syracuse’s Adam Wilcox
· #BPMailbag leftovers, fresh out of the microwave

Wilcox Looks Ahead After First Pro Win


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Adam Wilcox is moving on after his milestone victory.

The Crunch rookie netminder turned aside 25 shots to lift Syracuse to a 2-1 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for his first professional win Saturday, but was back to the regular grind at practice on Monday.

Wilcox is continuing to refine his technique as he progresses at the pro level.

“Obviously, it was a good feeling,” Wilcox said. “I was excited about it and it’s one of the hardest wins to get. It’s just getting over that, and now that the first one is out of the way, hopefully I can keep rolling here.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 41

This week's “Mike Smith Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 41
· Internal, slump-busting changes ahead for Lightning?
· No changes? What are we protecting?
· 4 TB players elevating their games, but 1 stands out and he’s on the verge of stardom
· Interview with Syracuse’s Joel Vermin

Vermin Making Strides With Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Joel Vermin has continued to evolve as a player.

In his second full season in North America, the Syracuse Crunch forward is finding a way to harness his speed and skill, as well as making a habit of going to the hard areas of the ice. The 23-year-old has registered one goal and three assists in the first eight games with Syracuse this season, and is steadily improving many facets of his game.

“I feel really comfortable, I feel really good on the ice,” Vermin said. “I think I’ve made a big step forward from last year. I hope it keeps going like that.”

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