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Bolt Prospect of the Week

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 the week ending October 26 is … Kristers Gudlevskis, G, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL.

Kristers Gudlevskis isn’t exactly a household name. He had his 15 minutes of fame with the Latvian Olympic team two years ago, but since that time he’s quietly faded from the limelight.

“Goo-la-VEE-skees,” as Chicago play-by-play announcer Pat Foley called him, made his return to the NHL this week and all he did was shut out the defending champs in their own barn for 60 minutes.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 39

This week's “Enrico Ciccone Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 39
· Vinny’s Breakfast
· Top line better than the Triplets, now and forevermore?
· Pick an effort level and stick with it
· Koekkoek time (and a soapbox rant)
· The BP Mailbag (Stamkos, Drouin playoff probability … Vladdy’s role … Clark Carle? … Syracuse scratches … Next wave of D ready? … KHL vs AHL … ECHL problems? … Have expectations changed for TB and Syracuse?)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second version of No. 39. The first version contained stories found on the LA Times website concerning an incident with Ciccone that the former player claims are not true. Out of respect for Ciccone, the stories have been edited out of the podcast. Our apologies for passing along misinformation.

Erne Brings Size to Crunch's Top Line


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Adam Erne knows what he brings to the table every time he hits the ice.

The sturdy left winger, who has begun his rookie season on the Syracuse Crunch’s top line, is responsible for doing the dirty work down low, getting to the front of the net and creating space for his linemates.

Listed at 6-1, 210-pounds, Erne is continuing to develop as a power forward to make the next step to the NHL.

“He has a good work ethic, a big body, and he’s been good down low,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “He’s still got to work on some of the details of his game, you can find him a lot with his stick up in the air. But overall, he’s been fine. He’s working hard and getting chances on the power play and five-on-five.”

Bolt Prospect of the Week

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 the week ending October 19 is … Ryan Zuhlsdorf, D, Sioux City Musketeers, USHL.

Has Al Murray done it again?

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 38

This week's “Darren Rumble Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 38 (and the story of Jim Johnson in a broom closet)
· Early season reviews for Tampa Bay and Syracuse
· 3 things that could keep the Lightning from the President’s Trophy
· Interviews with Luke Witkowski and Slater Koekkoek
· The BP Mailbag (Future of Poulin … Rating Drouin in fire Emojis … Drouin is Kucheroving – or is it Afanasenkoving? … Nikita Gusev vs Johnny Gaudreau … Better shooting percentage, Condra or Brown? … Does Stamkos sign? … TB’s most valuable puzzle piece … Sustr’s scratch the first letter of the writing on the wall? … The prospect I’d build a team around.)

Koekkoek, Witkowski Work Together in Return to Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

After being two of the final cuts from the Tampa Bay Lightning’s training camp, Slater Koekkoek and Luke Witkowski are back together on the Crunch blueline.

The two defensemen, paired together for the Syracuse season opener in Lehigh Valley Saturday, have quickly renewed the chemistry that made them one of the team’s top defensive duos last season. Both are working at rounding out their games as they prepare to take the next, permanent step to the National Hockey League.

“They both had real good camps and Tampa was happy with both of them,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “There’s players up there that have established positions, and they have to understand that. But the other part is that they still need to work on some of the things in their game that they can get better at. They’re both very good hockey players and able to play in the NHL, but both can improve and keep getting better.”

Bolt Prospect of the Week

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 the week ending October 12 is … Dennis Yan, W, Shawinigan Cataractes, QMJHL.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are taking over the Canadian Hockey League.

Two Lightning prospects, Dennis Yan (QMJHL) and Brayden Point (WHL), won their respective league’s Player of the Week this week after they combined for three hat tricks.

Crunch Begin Another Quest for Calder Cup

By Jeremy Houghtaling

The ultimate goal remains the same every year.

While every team in the American Hockey League chases the Calder Cup, the Tampa Bay Lighting’s AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, are looking to rekindle the magic that took them to the league championship series in 2013. Less than three years have passed, but the memories of 2013 seem to be shrinking in the rear view mirror.

The Crunch will take their first step toward that goal when they open the 2015-16 on the road against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Saturday.

“It’s gone by fast, without a doubt,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “The people have changed except for a couple, but it does feel like a while away. I feel like we’ve learned a lot over these last two years, and we’re continuing to grow. The goal, as always, is to make the playoffs and win the Calder Cup.”

Bolt Prospect of the Week

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 the week ending October 6 is … Mitchell Stephens, W, Saginaw Spirit, OHL.

When Mitchell Stephens was drafted with the Lightning’s top pick this summer, fans looked at his numbers and shrugged. That’s it?

Stephens posted 22 goals and 48 points in 62 games for the Spirit, with a minus-17 rating.

Perspective, people.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 37

This week's “Brad Lukowich Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 37
· Season preview: Tampa Bay Lightning. What’s the ceiling? Floor? Who’s the scoring leader?
· Season preview: Syracuse Crunch. Everything depends on…
· Interview with Rob Zettler
· The BP Mailbag (Should 3-on-3 overtime stats count? Will Steve Yzerman still be a genius after cap casualties?)

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