2015 NHL Draft: Tampa Bay Lightning draft review

By Chris Roberts

Bokondji Imama - Tampa Bay Lightning - 2015 NHL Draft

Photo: The Tampa Bay Lightning’s second sixth round pick, left wing Bokondji Imama of the Saint John Sea Dogs, was one of seven Sea Dogs’ players to be chosen at the 2015 NHL Draft (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

 

 

Mathieu Joseph, RW, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
4th round, 120th overall
Height: 6-0, Weight: 168 lbs

Mathieu Joseph, a skilled but undersized winger who plays a two-way game, excelled in his first full season of junior hockey. Playing for a Saint John team that did its best to roll four lines, Joseph accumulated 42 points in 59 games and finished fourth on the team in scoring.

He was a team-leading plus-18 for the young Sea Dogs and was one of the team’s more defensively responsible wingers. His offense might not carry him to the NHL, but his tight-checking and defensive zone smarts just might.

Joseph was one of seven Sea Dogs to be selected in the 2015 NHL Draft and one of two to be taken by the Lightning. With new head coach Danny Flynn in Saint John, he should be given more ice time in all situations next season.

Joseph met with the media following his selection by the Lightning, with some of his comments being included in this HF video.

Ryan Zuhlsdorf, D, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)
5th round, 150th overall
Height: 6-0, Weight: 194 lbs

Minnesota native Ryan Zuhlsdorf doesn’t excel in any one area, but he’s a well-rounded, mature prospect. He was the best 17-year-old on a strong Sioux City team in the USHL this past season, scoring three goals and adding 19 assists in 56 regular season games.

Zuhlsdorf is expected to return to Sioux City next season before enrolling at the University of Minnesota for 2016-17. The Lightning will then enjoy up to five years of control on Zuhlsdorf before having to decide if his development warrants a pro contract.

Kris Oldham, G, Omaha Lancers (USHL)
6th round, 153rd overall
Height: 6-3, Weight: 203 lbs

Alaskan native Kris Oldham played for the USHL’s Omaha Lancers this past season, eventually running away with the starting job. Oldham played in 33 games, compiling a 21-6-4 record to go along with a .908 save percentage and 2.49 goals against average.

He’s still a very raw prospect at this point, and he needs to improve his positioning and rebound control, but has intriguing size at 6’3 and is good at getting in front of the puck and making the first save. Oldham is committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and with Ryan Massa graduating after four seasons with the team, should have a chance to battle for the starting job.

Oldham spoke with members of the media after being chosen by the Lightning, with his comments being captured in this HF video.

Bokondji Imama, LW, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
6th round, 180th overall
Height: 6-1; Weight: 213 lbs

The Sea Dogs acquired Imama from the Baie-Comeau Drakkar midway during the 2014-15 season to help with team toughness. Saint John was one of the youngest teams in the league and boasted a top-six forward group consisting largely of undersized but skilled forwards. Split between Saint John and Baie-Comeau, Imama recorded 137 penalty minutes and 28 points in 59 games.

His ceiling is that of a fourth line enforcer/energy type player and that is what he was drafted for. The Lightning had interest in the Quebec native at last year’s draft, but opted not to take him.

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