Get the call from the agent.
Race to the airport.
Hop a bus, a cab, whatever - itâ€™s the chaos of being a professional athlete.
Suit up, meet the new coach, absorb the playbook, and connect with new linemates.
Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Carter Ashton, the No.2 prospect in the organization according to Bolt Prospects, recently experienced the rush after his call-up to the organizationâ€™s AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, this month.
Ashton, 18, knew the phone could ring at any moment and was relatively calm.
Clear the pucks after practice.
Clean the team bus, without volunteering.
No inimical stares - just good olâ€™ work habits prescribed by his teammates.
Itâ€™s all part of being a rookie for Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Mitch Fadden, shifting from youth to maturity with the clubâ€™s farm affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals.
Howâ€™s the forwardâ€™s first taste of the professional ranks?
Forget the airy questions about mirroring NHL superstars, or making casual comparisons - Norfolk Admirals forward Dana Tyrell follows his own compass.
However, the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect questioned himself and his future after a right knee injury sidelined him for six months last year.
Tyrell was on a fast track to success, earning a spot on Team Canada while leading the Prince George Cougars squad in scoring, piling up 19 goals and 21 assists in 30 games.
Then, his world would drastically change in the ensuing months.
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.
Just call him â€œThe Eraser.â€
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 nightâ€™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 leagueâ€™s fifth-best shooting percentage
â€œWhatever the coaches ask me to do Iâ€™m going to do it,â€ Jones said. â€œItâ€™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.â€
Bolt Prospects (BP), an online source for Tampa Bay Lightning prospect news since 2005, is pleased to announce a partnership with the Lightningâ€™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.
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 didnâ€™t keep Norfolk Admirals rookie Dustin Tokarski's interest.
Working the blue line?
How about between the pipes?
(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.
(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, heâ€™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.
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...