Articles that are feature stories.

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.


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].

Bolt Prospects 2009 NHL Entry Draft Supplemental Rankings

With two weeks now passed since a very successful 2009 NHL Entry Draft and an equally successful Young Guns prospect camp, Bolt Prospects has released a supplemental update to its 2008-2009 Final Rankings. The rankings primarily reflect the addition of the team's recent draftees, as well as recent contractual moves by the team and its prospects.

Rehab and Rest Have Tyrell on Track

Airdrie Echo

Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick ahead of schedule in recovery from December knee injury

It wasn’t the way he envisioned spending his winter months, but Dana Tyrell is making the best of a bad situation and is hoping to hit the ice this summer stronger than ever.

After completely tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and partially tearing the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during a Dec. 18 World Junior exhibition game against Sweden, Tyrell has taken to the arduous task of rehabbing the knee with his trademark hard working approach.

The soon-to-be 20-year-old has been working on the knee with a Hockey Canada physiotherapist at Canada Olympic Park, along with his trainer of over two years, Doug Crashley.

“My (physiotherapist) says it’s ahead of schedule so things are moving along quickly,” Tyrell said after a recent morning workout session at COP. “It’s a six month recovery, but I’ve seen guys I’ve been training with in here that are at a five month point and I’m ahead of them already.”

To read the rest of the story, click here: Airdrie Echo

Marshall making impression

The last time the Vermont men’s hockey team opened its mailbox and found an invitation to the NCAA party, Tim Thomas (yes, that Tim Thomas) was minding the nets and current Tampa Bay Lightning sniper Martin St. Louis was supplying the goals.

That was 1997.

For more click here for entire story.

Downie Video Available

Video from Steve Downie's supposed abuse of officials from last week's Admirals-Bears game is finally available here.

Hat tip to the BP message board ...

Victoria News: Q & A with Justin Courtnall

The Victoria News' Travis Patterson recently had the opportunity to sit down with Lightning draft choice and Victoria Grizzlies winger Justin Courtnall.

Q: You’ve committed to skate with the Boston University Terriers in the NCAA next season. How did that choice come about?

A: Boston had been watching me for the past couple of years. It’s a place I always wanted to go to. As a top-rated school, it’s a dream for a lot of kids to go there, luckily it came through for me.

Q: What do you plan on studying?

A: I want to get into business education, but I’ll just generalize going into next year.

Q: Grizzlies part-owner Len Barrie has since become a part-owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team that drafted you n 2007. Did you know Len before?

A: I met him when I first came to the Grizzlies. I was pleased to hear Len bought the team, but it doesn’t change anything, it’s just part of hockey. Tampa (ownership) was looking to sell there team and Len was interested, people buy stuff.

For the rest of the interview, click here. (Pictured: Courtnall in the BCHL All-Star game)

Bolt Prospects 2008-2009 Midterm Prospect Rankings

With about a month to go in the regular season over in Europe, and a little over a couple of months left to go in North America, the 2008-2009 season has turned out to be a good one for the prospects of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Asked to buoy the Lightning's sagging playoff hopes and to compensate for a spate of injuries on the top club's blueline, the team's youth has served admirably and done their part to help right the ship for Head Coach Rick Tocchet's club. Heading into the stretch run of the season, it looks like the youth in the Lightning organization may be priming for a big finish, capping a 2008-2009 season that in many ways has been a validation of the work that's been done by the club's scouts and developmental people, past and present.

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