Brendl, Stefan, and Sedin’s Oh My!!!!!!!
The Lightning are in their regular position of selecting number one overall in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. However this year the Bolts seem to have more options than usual. Because of the lack of a true can’t miss pick like Joe Thornton and Vinny Lecavalier, the Lightning have several different directions they can go.
Option 1: Patrik Stefan C Long Beach IHL (6’3” 205lbs) – maybe the best player in the draft after tearing up the IHL as a 17 year old. However, because of concussion and knee injuries and his below average skating ability, the Lightning are turned off to him. Not helping matters is that Stefan’s agent won’t allow his client to take a physical for the club. Without a passing physical the Lightning will likely pass on the talented forward.
Option 2: Daniel Sedin LW MoDo Sweden (6’1” 180lbs) – don’t look for the Lightning to take Daniel without working out a deal to select his equally talented twin brother, Henrik C Modo Sweden (6’3” 196lbs), around the fourth or fifth selection.
Option 3: Pavel Brendl RW Calgary Hitmen WHL (6’1” 195lbs) – Brendle would install some much needed goal scoring life into a team that is on a offensive respirator. The only drawbacks seem to be some minor injuries and his adequate but not blazing speed. But it is amazing how 73 goals in 68 games can overshadow those concerns.
Likely Choice: Two likely options stand out. The Lightning could trade the selection for multiple number one picks or for players that will make an immediate impact. However unless a blockbuster deal is worked out, the team will go ahead and draft Brendl number one overall.
More Draft Info
The Lightning are in need of quality offensive depth. Unfortunately they don’t possess a second round selection. In the third look for the Bolts to select goal scoring RW Konstantin Panov (6′ 180lbs). Panov put up good numbers (33 goals 30 assists) while playing with Lightning defensive prospect Kyle Kos this season for the Kamloops Blazers. The other glaring need is goaltending. With only Martin Bradette and Zac Bierk (whom has been cleared to play following his miss diagnosis of Mineres disease) in the organization, the Lightning would like to add two or three more netminders starting in the fourth or fifth rounds.