Lightning Minor Pro Report

By Pete Choquette

American Hockey League

LW Dimitry AfanasenkovGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Spr/GR (AHL)4656116E
2001-2002 Tampa Bay (NHL)50000-1
2002-2003 Springfield (AHL) 1320215-7

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 11GP, 2G-0A-2P, 15PIM, (-4)
Afanasenkov scored on a penalty shot for his first goal of the season on 10/20 against Providence to help secure the Falcons’ first victory of the season. He has played primarily on Springfield’s bottom two lines, but shows the ability to capitalize on scoring chances when they come his way.

LW Nikita AlexeevGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Springfield (AHL)35591416-8
2001-2002 Tampa Bay (NHL)444488-9
2002-2003 Springfield (AHL) 143254-4

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 12GP, 2G-2A-4P, 2PIM, Even
Alexeev was a healthy scratch 10/29 for Coach Marty McSorley against Worcester for lacking to show a consistent effort. Alexeev responded two games later against Providence by scoring two power play goals, including the overtime game winner, and putting 5 shots on Bruins netminder and former Detroit Viper Tim Thomas. Alexeev has spent much of the season on the Falcons’ second line, but was (+3) with 2 assists on the first line in Springfield’s last contest, a 4-1 victory over the very same Providence Bruins.

C Martin CibakGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Springfield (AHL)52591444-10
2001-2002 Tampa Bay (NHL)261568-6
2002-2003 Springfield (AHL) 1516732-4

Stock: Rising Slightly
Since Last Update: 13GP, 1G-6A-7P, 28PIM, (-3)
Despite spending much of the season on the Falcons’ third line, Cibak currently leads all of the Lightning’s younger AHL prospects in points. Picking up where he left off last season in Tampa, Cibak has shown he can play gritty, checking line hockey while chipping in the occasional assist. He has quickly become one of the players Marty McSorley relies on nightly. As a reward for his hard work, Cibak was promoted to playing wing on the top two scoring lines for the last three games, and responded by posting 2 assists in Springfield’s last game, a 4-1 win over Providence.

2001-2002 Hartford (AHL)78172239193NA
2001-2002 Hartford (Playoffs)1012350NA
2002-2003 Springfield (AHL) 112358-3

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 9GP, 2G-3A-5P, 4PIM, (-2)
Another player who has portrayed the ability to produce some points while receiving checking line duty has been Boyd Kane. Kane has played a lower-keyed game than he did last season with the Hartford Wolfpack, but has made up for it by picking up his offensive production. Kane scored a goal in the Falcons’ 4-3 win over Providence on 11/1.

G Evgeny KonstantinovW-L-TGAASv%SO
2001-2002 Pensacola (ECHL)10-10-03.47.9010
2001-2002 Springfield (AHL)1-2-01.69.9260
2002-2003 Springfield (AHL) 2-5-04.31.8530

Stock: Dropping Slightly
Since Last Update: 2W-4L-0T, 4.34GAA, .851sv%, 0SO
Konstantinov has made some spectacular saves utilizing his quickness and athleticism for the Falcons, but he has yet to exhibit the level of consistency necessary to become a starting goaltender. As a result, Evgeny finds himself stuck behind former Lightning goaltender and current Phoenix Coyotes property Zac Bierk as Springfield’s backup netminder. Konstantinov got his first win of the year on 10/31 in a 2-1 victory over the Albany River Rats in which he stopped 27 shots. He is 2-1-0 in his last three starts, hopefully indicating he is finally settling down.

D Kristian KudrocGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Spr/Phi (AHL)6501111140-3
2001-2002 Phi (Playoffs)511221+1
2001-2002 Tampa Bay (NHL)20000E
2002-2003 Springfield (AHL) 10000E

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 0GP, 0G-0A-0P, 0PIM, Even

Kudroc is still out of the lineup with a concussion he suffered in Springfield’s season opener.

D Harlan PrattGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Fla/Pen (ECHL)302151718+4
2001-2002 Pensacola (Playoffs)30442-1
2001-2002 Spr/Low (AHL)361101123+3
2002-2003 Springfield (AHL) 111012-2

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 9GP, 1G-0A-1P, 2PIM, (-3)
Along with Martin Grenier and the recalled Deron Quint, Harlan Pratt has the second best plus/minus rating among Falcons defensemen behind grizzled AHL veteran Dan Smith. Pratt has spent much of the season playing on the third pairing for Springfield.

D Darren RumbleGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Worcester (AHL)603293248NA
2002-2003 Springfield (AHL) 15210124-16

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 13GP, 2G-8A-10P, 4PIM, (-10)
Rumble currently leads all Lightning properties in Springfield in points and is tied for the overall team scoring lead with Phoenix prospect Ramzi Abid. A seasoned AHL veteran, Rumble receives the lion’s share of the Falcons’ blueline ice time. As a result, his plus/minus has suffered as the team is currently the second worst in the AHL’s Eastern Conference at 5-10-0-0.

C Alex SvitovGPGAPPIM+/-
2002-2003 Tampa Bay (NHL) 1101126E
2002-2003 Springfield (AHL)31122+3

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: Not Applicable
In 11 games with the Lightning, Alex Svitov received a mere 8:25 of average ice time per night, and twice found himself a healthy scratch. The Lightning rightfully recognized the need for Svitov to gain some ice time so they loaned him to the Falcons for a recent three game set from Friday to Monday. Impressively, Svitov held an even plus/minus rating through the first two games of the Set, despite the fact the Falcons went 0-2 while being outscored 11-4 against Worcester and Providence. In the third contest led the Falcons to a 4-1 victory, supplying a goal and an assist while posting a (+3) rating. The goal was the first of his North American professional career. Alex will now return to Tampa for their game against San Jose, but with center Brian Holzinger slated to return from a broken leg around Thanksgiving, Svitov could find himself back on Springfield’s number one line sharpening his offensive skills very soon.

LW Ryan ToblerGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Springfield (AHL)73172441215-13
2001-2002 Tampa Bay (NHL)40005-2
2002-2003 Springfield (AHL) 1002244-3

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 8GP, 0G-2A-2P, 31PIM, (-5)
As a result of Springfield’s improved forward depth this season, Tobler has seen his scoring line and power play time reduced. With less of a scoring load to shoulder, Tobler has gone back to the pugilism which has been the bread and butter of his minor-pro career. He scored his first and only points of the season when he notched two assists in the 11/8 loss to Worcester.

RW Shane Willis GPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Car/TB (NHL)8011132430-8
2002-2003 Springfield (AHL) 1414512-13

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 12GP, 1G-4A-5P, 12PIM, (-9)
According to Jay Feaster, the effort and intensity has been solid and consistent by Willis since his demotion to Springfield. Unfortunately, Willis has been snakebitten in the goal scoring department, hitting a bevy of posts and finding himself the victim of some outstanding saves by opposing goaltenders. Still, Willis has been able to chip in some assists while playing a large amount of time on Springfield’s first line. He scored his first goal of the season in the 10/31 victory over Albany. As Springfield’s situation continues to improve, look for the former AHL Rookie of the Year’s goal production to increase.

East Coast Hockey League

G Brian EklundW-L-TGAASv%SO
2001-2002 Brown (ECAC)3-5-03.96.8710
2002-2003 Pensacola (ECHL) 1-1-06.00.7890

Stock: Falling
Since Last Update: 0W-1L-0T, 18.00GAA, .600sv%, 0SO

Eklund was shelled in his second start of the season, allowing 6 goals in the first period of the 11/6 loss to defending ECHL champion Greenville. Eklund has only played in two of the eleven Ice Pilots games this season, spending much of the year watching veteran goaltender Maxime Gingras carry the load for Pensacola.

RW Matt ElichGPGAPPIM+/-
2002-2003 Springfield (AHL)222244-3
2002-2003 Pensacola (ECHL)< /td> 41342E

Stock: Falling Slightly
Since Last Update: 4GP, 1G-3A-4P, 2PIM, Even
Despite his point-a-game pace in Pensacola, Elich has drawn the ire of Pilot’s coach Todd Gordon and was placed on the 7-day injured reserve as a roster move to make space for another forward on 11/4. After sitting out two games, he returned on 11/9 and notched two assists in a 3-2 win over Baton Rogue. Improved forward depth in Springfield pushed Elich down to the ECHL level despite a solid preseason with the Falcons.

D Marek PriechodskyGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Pensacola (ECHL)523111433+15
2001-2002 Pensacola (Playoffs)30000-1
2002-2003 Pensacola (ECHL) 50006+1

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 3GP, 0G-0A-0P, 2PIM, Even

Priechodsky was placed on 30-day injured reserve on 11/4.

D Jeremy Van HoofGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Pensacola (ECHL)722141686+26
2001-2002 Pensacola (Playoffs)30009-2
2002-2003 Pensacola (ECHL) 111018-2

Steady: Steady
Since Last Update: 9GP, 0G-0A-0P, 8PIM, (-5)

Van Hoof has played in every Ice Pilot game so far and has seen his plus/minus suffer as Pensacola has struggled to a 4-4-3 start. The difficulty Pensacola has had this season is unexpected, as the Pilots were considered a preseason favorite to win it all in the ECHL by The Hockey News.