As we start the stretch run of the 2010-2011 hockey season, BoltProspects is proud to announce its midterm rankings for the prospects of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.
As is tradition, we will begin by reciting the rules of the rankings. Any skater prospect who was under 24 years of age on opening night of the Lightning's season and has played less than 41 NHL games in any single season and less than 82 career NHL games is eligible for the rankings. This excludes, for instance, winger Johan Harju, who turned 24 last May and is now considered an overage prospect, and Dana Tyrell, who has already played 52 games this season and is considered to be graduated from prospect status. For goaltenders, any netminder who has earned less than 30 NHL decisions in any single season and less than 41 career NHL decisions and was under 24 years of age on opening night is eligible for the rankings. That excludes Cedrick Desjardins, for instance, who turned 25 in September. The exception to these basic rules are NCAA based players, who are considered eligible prospects for the duration of their college careers regardless of age.
With the typical legal disclaimers out of the way, here are our 2010-2011 Midterm Rankings:
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 2 @ Niagara IceDogs 6
D Brock Beukeboom, SSM: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 43 GP, 1-7-8, -11, 54 PIM
Niagara scored the gameâ€™s final four goals after the Soo had taken a 3-2 lead 18 seconds into the third period. Brett Beukeboom was scoreless for the Greyhounds.
Owen Sound Attack 5 @ Peterborough Petes 1
D Geoffrey Schemitsch, OS: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 42 GP, 1-16-17, +15, 12 PIM
G Michael Zador, OS: Win, 24 saves on 25 shots
With Attack: 9 GP, 6-1-0-0, 3.11 GAA, .897 sv%, 0 SO
With Oshawa: 18 GP, 10-3-1-1, 3.36 GAA, .879 sv%, 1 SO
Season Totals: 27 GP, 16-4-1-1, 3.28 GAA, .885 sv%, 1 SO
Zador (pictured) extended his personal winning streak to four games. He has just one loss in his last 14 appearances, and saw his save percentage with the Attack inch closer to the .900 mark. Schemitsch, who had 40 points as a rookie last year, has just four points - all assists - in his last 15 games.
When heâ€™s not picking up pucks after a morning skate or sweeping the bus after a road trip, Norfolk Admirals defenseman Mark Barberio is slowly making his way to becoming a NHL card-carrying member.
It's quite a change for Barberio, whose status as an American Hockey League (AHL) player was once in doubt. Norfolk coach Jon Cooper said Barberio was nearly headed to the Florida Everblades (ECHL) to hone his skills.
â€œHeâ€™s is the youngest player on the team at 20,â€ said Cooper, who is behind the bench in his first professional season after coaching in juniors. â€œWe thought that maybe he should go to the ECHL to get some time there, but we had some injury troubles and it has worked out fortunately."
Now that the 2010-2011 NHL season is underway it is time for BoltProspects' 2010-2011 Preliminary Rankings of the Lightning's top twenty-five prospects. This year's installment reflects a talent pool that has both high-end prospects and depth for perhaps the first time in the club's history, a fact that was celebrated by both GM Steve Yzerman and Head Coach Guy Boucher during training camp this fall. The Lightning is still looking for high end talent at the defenseman position, but at forward and between the pipes there's no doubting the potential.
Before we proceed, I am required to recite the BoltProspects prospect criteria rules. As always, any player 24 years of age or older on opening night of the Lightning's season (10/9/10) is not eligible for inclusion on the list and will be considered an overage prospect. The prime example of this rule is versatile forward Johan Harju, who turned 24 in May, and therefore is not eligible for this year's list. The same is true for forward Blair Jones, who turned 24 in September. The exception to this rule is NCAA-based players, who remain eligible for the list until the completion of their college careers. Prospects under 24 will be considered graduated to the NHL level when they meet the appropriate criteria for games played or decisions. For skaters, any player who appears in 41 or more NHL games in a single season or 82 or more career NHL games is no longer considered a prospect. For goaltenders, any netminder who has 30 or more decisions in a single NHL season or 41 or more career NHL decisions will be considered graduated.
Now that that's out of the way, Guy Boucher says no more d-to-d passes. Let's go:
(HockeyProspect.com) Whether the game be played at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, or at the Ice Sports Palace Sibir in Russia, many young and talented hockey players looking to enter North American professional hockey acknowledge the pressure that hangs on their draft year.
The 2010 NHL Entry Draft was no exception, as many players from all over the world came together in Los Angeles just after taking part in their draft year.
Brett Connolly of the Prince George Cougars was no exception.
To read this interview, including Connolly's thoughts on being drafted, his immediate future, and Lightning Director of Player Personnel Jim Hammett's thoughts on the pick and Connolly's health, see HockeyProspect.com by clicking here.