Photo: Although goaltenders face a longer road to the NHL than skaters, Andrei Vasilevskiy has established himself as a solid NHL netminder just three seasons since the Lightning selected him 19th overall in 2012. (Courtesy of Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)
The Tampa Bay Lightning have done a tremendous job at drafting and developing since Steve Yzerman took over the general manager position in 2010. The team has more hits than misses in the early rounds and has found quality late-round players that have since filled significant roles with the team. Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov are two that immediately come to mind and both players were selected in 2011, the first draft that Yzerman and his staff had a full year to prepare for. It might also end up as the team’s best in the past decade-plus. 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: Tampa Bay Lightning forward prospect Vladislav Namestnikov has split his time this season between the Lightning and their AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch (courtesy of Jerome Davis/Icon Sportswire)
The Syracuse Crunch sport the third-best record in the American Hockey League (26-11-5-0, 57 points) through the first half of the 2014-15 season. Despite a 10-game winning streak last month, the Crunch find themselves in a battle with the Springfield Falcons for the top spot in the Northeast Division. Read more»
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.
Photo: Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cedric Paquette has split the 2014-15 season between the AHL and NHL. Paquette was picked in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)
Even with some of its most promising prospects graduating to NHL ranks in recent years, the Tampa Bay Lightning continue to boast one of the league’s most impressive prospect pools.