Kevin Lynch’s goal was to catch on with an American Hockey League team.
Lynch, a former Columbus Blue Jackets second-rounder, split his rookie season between Toledo and Evansville of the ECHL, but believed he could make the next step. After posting six points in nine games with Florida, Lynch got the call saying he had been offered a professional tryout with the Syracuse Crunch last week.
“You have some idea in your head ‘Maybe if I play well at the beginning of the season, I’ll get called up this month or this month,’ but you have no idea how the season is going to go,” Lynch said. “I was surprised and really happy at the same time.”
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 November 18, 2014 is … Yanni Gourde, Syracuse Crunch (AHL – USA).
Yanni Gourde knew he just needed to get the first one.
After recording only a pair of assists over his first 10 games this season, the Syracuse Crunch forward knew if he got the first goal more would come quickly. Gourde scored his first of the season early in the third period against the Norfolk Admirals Nov. 8, and followed it up with the eventual game-winner a little more than 10 minutes later.
This week's edition of the BoltProspects Podcast (now on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:
· Do the Lightning have a goaltending problem?
· Paquette turning into NHLer
· My big mistake (Sorry, Tyler)
· Interview with Dalton Smith
· BP Mailbag (D philosophy, What to do for Samson?)
· Weekly prospect review
To listen on Lightning Radio, go to TBLPowerPlay.com.
Previous BP Podcast editions:
Tanner Richard doesn’t fit easily into a single category.
The Crunch forward, a top point producer in junior, turned into a grinder during his rookie campaign with Syracuse last season. With more opportunity on a scoring line this year, Richard has a shootout winner and six points — four of which came in the last three games — and 32 penalty minutes in his first 13 games this season.
Richard is hoping his versatility makes him a mainstay in the Crunch lineup — no matter what line he’s assigned.
“That’s what I was drafted as, a point producer,” the 21-year-old center said. “My numbers were nowhere near where they needed to be and where I wanted them to be last year, so that was frustrating. I’m just hoping I can produce and provide secondary scoring for the team and contribute that way. At the same time, be gritty in front of the net and stand up for teammates.”
Dalton Smith has taken the wisdom from his father and uncles to heart.
The Syracuse Crunch power forward, whose father, Derrick Smith, and uncles, Keith and Wayne Primeau, each played more than 500 NHL games, was told to find a way to make an impact in every game.
Smith, known more for his work with his fists than producing points, scored twice in each of his last two games to take the team lead in goals scored.
“They always talk about not blending into games, and always standing out and doing something every night to get yourself noticed,” the 22-year-old said. “And to put as many tools as you can in your toolbox, and I think that’s what I worked on a lot this summer.”