NHL Prospects Roundup: Lightning prospects impress in 5-1 win

By Ken McKenna

Nikolaj Ehlers - Winnipeg Jets

Photo: Winnipeg Jets prospect Nikolaj Ehlers has looked good in preseason action, registering a goal and assist along with eight shots in five games (courtesy of Terrence Lee/Icon Sportswire)

 

The Tampa Bay Lightning are viewed by some as a contender out of the NHL’s Eastern Conference. If they do make that step forward, then it might be due in part to the talented prospects that the Lightning have working their way through the system.

The performances on Monday night of a quartet of the club’s youngsters was the most noteworthy of a handful of notable prospect outings in last night’s NHL preseason action.

Connolly makes a case in win over Stars

Lightning 2010 first round selection Brett Connolly has yet to live up to expectations placed on him when he was chosen sixth overall at the NHL Draft. Indeed, the former Prince George Cougars’ star may return to the AHL for more seasoning, but he tried to make that decision a difficult one for the Lightning coaching staff with a two-point performance against the Dallas Stars in a 5-1 Lightning win on Monday night. Connolly registered a goal and an assist in earning second star honors on the evening.

Connolly was not the only Lightning prospect to contribute in the win, however. Another two-point performance came from forward Cedric Paquette, who registered a goal and assist on the night. Vladimir Namestnikov chipped in two assists, with one of those assists coming on a power play goal by Nikita Kucherov.

Ehlers nets game-winner in Jets win over Senators

The Winnipeg Jets‘ top pick at the 2014 NHL Draft, Nikolaj Ehlers, netted his first goal of the preseason, which ended up being the game-winning goal in the Jets’ 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. Ehlers pumped home an easy goal off a nice passing play that included an assist for another Jet’s prospect, Nic Petan.

Ehlers was named the second star in this game after registering his goal and three shots in nearly 15 minutes of ice time. Senators’ forward prospect Curtis Lazar was named the game’s third star after registering four shots and four hits on the night. Another Senators’ forward prospect, Buddy Robinson, netted a breakaway goal to make the score 2-1 late in the third period.

Duclair scores in loss to Flyers

Although the outcome wasn’t in the New York Rangers‘ favor, the team had to be happy with the continued solid performance of prospect Anthony Duclair. The offensively talented forward netted another goal in preseason action, pulling his team within one goal early in the third period in what ended up as a 4-2 loss for the Rangers. Duclair fired home a shot off of a perfect pass by Dominic Moore to make the score 3-2 in the Philadelphia Flyers‘ favor.

Gaudreau named second star in Flames’ win

Forward Johnny Gaudreau scored the only goal the Calgary Flames needed in their 2-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Gaudreau dipsy-doodled the Avalanche’s Nate Guenin and beat goaltender Reto Berra to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.

Gaudreau was named the game’s second star on the basis of that goal and five shots in 14:51 of ice time.

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