Lightning Prospect Workouts: Day Two
Day Two of prospect workouts at the Ice Sports Forum showed the young Lightning prospects all elevate their performance level, and it’s probably no coincidence the better play came as the Lightning braintrust made themselves very visible. With GM Jay Feaster, Head Coach John Tortorella, and other Lightning dignitaries on hand to supervise the morning practice, almost every player, to a man, showed marked improvement over the first day of practice. So, without further delay, the highlights and lowlights of the morning:
If Nikita Alexeev can manage to bottle the first 20-30 minutes of today’s practice, he may have a legitimate shot at unseating Shane Willis for the big club’s second line right wing spot. Alexeev’s skating is unquestionably impressive, and this morning he showed a high level of stickhandling, passing, and shooting proficiency in drills. The leaps and bounds of improvement he has made since being drafted out of Erie of the OHL is amazing, to say the least.
2002 late 7th round pick Darren Reid looked much more comfortable today after struggling at times yesterday. He kept his head up and flashed more of the stickhandling skills he displayed the first day of practice. Even more, Reid showed a willingness to assert himself physically in one-on-one drills and he is quickly earning a reputation as one of the team’s resident rink rats by staying after practice to work with other players. Today, Reid helped goaltender Kevin Hodson work on his puck handling skills by wiring dump-in passes off the boards for roughly 15 minutes before heading in for his off-ice conditioning.
Arthur Femenella may struggle a bit in the finesse drills, but he offered zero hesitation when it came to the physical side of the game in one-on-one and two-on-two drills. Femenella used his six-foot-seven and close to 240 pound frame often, and with a high degree of malice.
Goal-of-the-Day was a Vincent Lecavalier-esque forehand to backhand deke with a roof job chaser by winger Adam Henrich. Henrich displayed a hard shot this morning and a sniper’s mentality, which is very appealing.
J.F. Soucy has displayed a high degree of speed through the first two days of workouts which could lead him to a contract and a spot in the AHL at this time next year.
Lowlights were few and far between, as the bulk of the Lightning players had a solid day of practice. Alexander Svitov showed some improvement over yesterday morning’s workouts, specifically in his skating and stickhandling. However, it’s dismaying that a player who has been broadly praised for his physical brand of play didn’t show that side of his game in contact drills.
After practice every day, the Lightning prospects are engaging in off-ice conditioning workouts with the Lightning training staff, led by strength coach Eric Lawson.
Kevin Hodson was once again the last player to leave the ice today, preceeded by forwards Aaron Lobb, Darren Reid, Alex Svitov, and Nikita Alexeev. Lobb and Reid have to be given kudos for their character and diligence in sticking around after practice to continue to work on their games and help out other players.