Features

Articles that are feature stories.

Bolt Prospects 2009-2010 Midterm Rankings

It's roughly the midpoint of the NHL season, and with the graduations of prospects James Wright and Victor Hedman, and the conclusion of the U20 World Junior Championships, it's time for Bolt Prospects to release its 2009-2010 Midterm Rankings. The Midterm Rankings reflect a significant amount of change for the club, as it has been a year where the team's prospects haven't stuck to the script. Some players have failed to live up to expectations. Other have come out of nowhere to raise their stock. The end result is one of the widest shifts in rankings we've ever had.

Jones Is Getting Defensive

Just call him “The Eraser.”

Already known for his grit and forechecking abilities, Blair Jones has taken his two-way game to another level this year. And Lightning coaches are taking it even further.

In Saturday night’s key Southeast Division clash against the Atlanta Thrashers, Jones, who earlier this month was still playing in AHL Norfolk, got the tap on the shoulder to help kill a first period penalty. It was his first significant action shorthanded this season, and to make matters more intimidating, he was lined up opposite Thrashers superstar Ilya Kovalchuk, who entered the game among NHL goal leaders with 21 and the league’s fifth-best shooting percentage

“Whatever the coaches ask me to do I’m going to do it,” Jones said. “It’s not the most glorifying job to stand in front of one of the hardest shots in the league, but whatever keeps me out on the ice.”

Bolt Prospects partners with Tampa Bay Lightning

Bolt Prospects (BP), an online source for Tampa Bay Lightning prospect news since 2005, is pleased to announce a partnership with the Lightning’s official web site, tampabaylightning.com.

Recently the Lightning have increased their coverage of its players and draftees below the NHL level, providing feature stories and prospect camp reviews. Now, with the help of Bolt Prospects, tampabaylightning.com/prospects will add our game night updates covering organizational prospects on three continents, as well as the latest news and links from BP as posted on Twitter.

We at BP would like to thank our loyal readers for their support over the years, and we look forward to bigger and better things in the future.

Go Bolts,

BP Staff

Tokarski Adapting Well in AHL, Looks to Prove Critics Wrong

Dustin Tokarski finished with 1.97 goals-against average, and won a career-high of 34 games during his last junior season.The question will be if he can acclimate to the NHL, despite his 5-foot-11 frame.

Becoming a forward didn’t keep Norfolk Admirals rookie Dustin Tokarski's interest.

Working the blue line?

Nah…

How about between the pipes?

Ashton hopes to ride Subway to WJHC

(Saskatoon StarPhoenix) During the next week, [Lightning 2009 first rounder] Carter Ashton will tote his Lethbridge Hurricanes hockey bag through three provinces for four games.

He'll tangle with familiar WHL foes in Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Medicine Hat. But first, the 18-year-old winger has a Thursday date with the Russians in Kelowna, B.C.

"A lot of people will be watching that game," says Ashton, who'll represent Team WHL in the finale of the Subway Super Series. "It's another step towards the process (of earning an invitation to the national junior team's selection camp)."

For the rest of this story, please see the StarPhoenix by clicking here.

Witkowski Not Just Biding His Time With WMU Hockey

(Kalmazoo Gazette) When he was 9 years old, defenseman Luke Witkowski visited Western Michigan University, watched a hockey game, went into the locker room and decided then he wanted to play hockey for the Broncos.

Ten years later, he’s a freshman blueliner paired with senior Tyler Ludwig as the Broncos (4-3-0, 0-2-0 CCHA) prepare to host Lake Superior State in a home series Friday and Saturday at Lawson Ice Arena. ...

For the rest of this feature, see the Kalmazoo Gazette online by clicking here.

Bolt Prospects 2009-2010 Preliminary Rankings

Now that the 2009-2010 season is fully underway, it's time for Bolt Prospects to engage in the annual ritual of submitting its October Preliminary Rankings. This is going to be a fascinating season for the Lightning's prospects, as Norfolk looks like it has the most depth its had since the Lightning affiliated itself with the Admirals franchise and a deep 2009 NHL Entry Draft has given Lightning fans much to look forward to in the junior ranks. But, before we proceed, lets go over the ground rules again.

Bolt Prospects considers a prospect skater to be any player under the age of 24 on opening night of the season who has played less than 41 NHL games in any given season and who has not played more than 82 career NHL games. For goaltenders, any player who has less than 30 NHL decisions in a single season and less than 41 career NHL decisions is still considered a prospect. The exception to these rules is an NCAA player, who is considered a prospect for however long they remain in school. Clear as mud? Wonderful. Let's begin...

Panik's Goal (well, one of them)

This was Richard Panik's much talked-about second goal of the preseason, scored between the legs on a ricochet off the end-boards. Panik (#28 on right) had three goals and eight points in two exhibition games for Windsor before joining the Lightning for rookie camp in Brandon, Florida. Enjoy.

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DeCoste Determined Heading into Pivotal Season

([url=http://beta.saultstar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1721672]Sault Star Feature[/url]) When asked, there's no hesitation. Kyle DeCoste quickly admits that yes, this is the biggest year of his life. A fifth-round draft choice of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning in 2008, DeCoste's play over the next several months will determine whether he gets a professional contract. But it may take the London, Ont., native some time to be completely ready for his fourth Ontario Hockey League season. The 19-year-old right-winger, who joined the Soo Greyhounds just before last season's Jan. 10 trade deadline, is recovering from shoulder surgery in April. The six-foot-two, 196- pounder, is "almost 100 per cent back," after having a torn labrum (cartilage) repaired on his left side. But the surgery kept DeCoste, who scored 15 times a season ago, including seven in 26 games for the Greyhounds, from training the way he needed to. For the rest of the story, see the Sault Star by [url=http://beta.saultstar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1721672]clicking here[/url].

Tokarski Featured in Canada's National Post

[b]Lightning prospect Tokarski does nothing but win[/b] (National Post) The 19-year-old goaltender obsessively taps his posts and his chest. And during every stoppage in play, he pokes the top of his net twice with the blade of his stick. "That kid must take forever to wash his hands," one fan observed after watching Tokarski mind the Spokane Chiefs' net during a Western Hockey League game last season. Like baseball player Nomar Garciaparra's ritual of adjusting and readjusting his gloves before every pitch, Tokarski's habits can be enervating to watch. But as much as his twitchiness makes him appear unsettled, it also puts him in a comfort zone. "I've been doing that ever since I was 13 years old," he says. Tokarski has also made a habit of winning.[/quote] To read the rest of the story, see the [i]National Post[/i]/[i]StarPhoenix[/i] by [url=http://www.nationalpost.com/sports/story.html?id=1905143]clicking here[/url].
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