Photo: Taken in the 5th round (148th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Nikita Nesterov is already looking like a draft-day steal for the Lightning. (Courtesy of Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire)
Like most teams hoping to contend for the Stanley Cup, the Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t had significant contributions from its young prospects, save for Vladislav Namestnikov, though the Russian center had already appeared in 47 career NHL games prior to this season. Read more»
Photo: Adam Erne joined the Syracuse Crunch last fall after scoring 21 goals in 22 games in the 2015 QMJHL playoffs, for which he earned the Playoff MVP Award. (Courtesy of Graig Abel/Getty Images)
Unlike in years past, Tampa Bay Lightning’s AHL affiliate does not boast a large group of young, talented forwards. Instead, the bulk of the Syracuse Crunch’s offense has come from aging veterans, and the team has been mediocre in the first half of the season. Read more»
Photo: Anthony DeAngelo leads all CHL defencemen with 71 points in 51 games this season. (Courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
Owning quality NHL-bound prospects at all five positions, the Tampa Bay Lightning appear to be set for the future. Beyond top prospects Jonathan Drouin, Andrey Vasilevskiy and Anthony DeAngelo, many of the organization’s prospects are ready for the next level, with recent call-ups Luke Witkowski and Nikita Nesterov performing well in the NHL. Read more»
Photo: Forward Jon Drouin has been solid in his rookie NHL season, producing 19 points in 38 games. Drouin was picked third overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)
With expectations comes pressure; pressure to succeed and meet said expectations. So far, the young Tampa Bay Lightning squad has met and surpassed most expectations, proving last year’s playoff appearance was no fluke—far from it.
Photo: Andrey Vasilevskiy has been very good in his first season of North American hockey, posting a 10-3-5 record in 18 AHL starts. Vasilevskiy even saw several NHL starts in December, filling in for injured starter Ben Bishop. (courtesy of Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
Having gone 6-2-2 in their last 10 games, the Syracuse Crunch are trending upward thanks to a well-stocked Tampa Bay Lightning prospect pool highlighted by some promising goaltenders and depth on the blue line.