The 2000 NHL Entry Draft holds several options for the up start Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning hold 15 picks in this years draft, including two picks in the top ten. The Bolts pick at numbers five and eight in the first round. These picks have led to a lot of speculation as to what GM Rick Dudley has planned. Dudley has acknowledged that several teams have called in interest of the picks, and Dudley has made no secret that he is willing to trade the picks for immediate help on the team. If Dudley were to trade the picks look for a goaltender, veteran defenseman, and/or scoring winger to come back in return.
In the later rounds look for the Lightning to stock up on wingers and goaltenders, but don’t be surprised if a few more defensemen are added to the already talented corp.
As the draft draws near, the question most asked about the Lightning’s draft is not who they’ll take in the first round, but if they’ll be picking at all. With the 5th and 8th overall picks and the need for immediate help, General Manager Rick Dudley should probably stock up on extra cell phone batteries. All indications show that he has already fielded numerous calls about trading one or both of the picks. He has said publicly that he will trade them if it will improve the team. He looks at draft picks very much as he does players. They are assets. Although every team needs to have a strong system, one cannot dismiss the fact that from time to time immediate help for a team outweighs the need to bolster their youth.
Former NAHL Most Valuable Defenseman Heads to Pros from Bowling Green
For Immediate Release – Thursday, April 6, 2000
The North American Hockey League has announced that former NAHL defenseman Mike Jones has signed a free-agent
contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
A 6-4, 195-pound native of Toledo, OH, Jones, 23, spent the past four seasons at Bowling Green State University of the
Central Collegiate Hockey Association. He tallied six goals and 13 assists for 19 points with 71 penalty minutes in 34 games
with Bowling Green this season as an assistant captain, and also helped BGSU to a first-round playoff upset of Lake Superior
Jones, who collected 18-52—70 points and 167 PIM in 127 career outings with the Falcons, will join former NAHL and
BGSU star Brian Holzinger in Tampa Bay. The Buffalo Sabres traded Holzinger, the 1995 Hobey Baker Memorial Award
winner as the top player in U.S. college hockey, to the Lightning last month.
Jones played two years with the NAHL’s Cleveland Barons, recording 15-33—48 points as a rookie left wing in
1994-95. He switched to the blueline the following season and notched 25-45—70 points in 46 outings while also serving
as Cleveland’s team captain. He led all league defensemen in points that year, led all NAHL players in assists, and Read more»