Photo: Portland Pirates forward and Florida Panthers prospect Kyle Rau (#42) is currently tied for fourth in goals in the AHL with 13 in 27 games this season (courtesy of Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
As players return from the holiday break with the halfway point of the 2015-16 AHL season approaching, teams from each division in the AHL Eastern Conference have separated themselves from the rest of the field and created a logjam behind them battling for playoff position. Read more»
Photo: Selected third overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, forward Jonathan Drouin has established himself as one of the top offensive forwards in junior hockey. The 18-year-old forward currently has 78 points through 37 games in the QMJHL. (courtesy of Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
While the top of the Tampa Bay Lightning's Top 20 prospects remains unchanged from the beginning of the 2013-14 season, there has both plenty of movement and fresh faces beyond top prospects Jonathan Drouin and Andrey Vasilevskiy.
Photo: Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman was the second overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft. Hedman currently has 10 goals and 22 assists through 46 2013-14 games with the Lightning. (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon SMI)
The 2008-09 season was a frustrating one for the Tampa Bay Lightning. They finished with a league-worst 24 wins and managed only 66 total points. The team was particularly weak in their own end, as they allowed an average of 32 shots per game and finished the season with a 3.28 goals against average.
Photo: Forward Vladislav Namestnikov is amidst a breakout season for the Syracuse Crunch, with 28 points through 24 AHL games. (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
On the outside of the AHL playoff picture as of mid-January, things do not look like they will get any easier for the Syracuse Crunch, the AHL affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Thanks in large part to Steven Stamkos' broken leg, among other injuries, a number of Crunch players have been summoned for short term replacement.
Photo: Richard Panik (left), Tyler Johnson (center), and Alex Killorn (right) have been a crucial component of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s success in the 2013-14 NHL season. (courtesy of Mark LoMoglio/Icon SMI)
Armed with one of the top prospect pools in all of the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning are starting to reap the rewards of good drafting, particularly in the mid-rounds. In the past few years they have added high-ceiling players like Jonathan Drouin and Andrey Vasilevskiy in the first round, whom have been complemented nicely with former mid-round selections like Ondrej Palat, Radko Gudas, and Alex Killorn.