Photo: University of North Dakota forward and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Brendan O’Donnell could be a breakout player in the NCHC in 2014-15 if he can avoid the injury bug (courtesy of Tim G. Zechar / Icon Sportswire)
In part one of this 2014-15 NCHC preview, Hockey’s Future looked at four of the eight teams in NCAA Hockey‘s newest conference. Part two takes a closer look at Denver, Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota and Western Michigan. Read more»
Photo: Forward Cedric Paquette was one of several young Tampa Bay Lightning players who made their NHL Playoff debut in 2014. Paquette was selected in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
As has been the case for the past few seasons now, the Tampa Bay Lightning had some breakthrough performances from prospects this year. Many of those strong performances carried over into the postseason, with several prospects positioning themselves well for the future.
Photo: Quinnipiac forward Matthew Peca has been solid in his junior season of hockey, recording 12 goals and 25 assists through 38 games. The Lightning selected Peca in the seventh round of the 2011 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
The Tampa Bay Lightning have shown a willingness to draft from all corners of the hockey world, so it should be no surprise that the organization boasts a wealth of NCAA and European prospects.
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.
Photo: Richard Panik (14) is one of several talented forwards the Tampa Bay Lightning have in their minor league system. (Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
It seems that, as a general manager, Steve Yzerman can do no wrong. In his first year as the Tampa Bay Lightning's GM, Yzerman made a number of shrewd moves that helped put the team into the playoffs, and while they finished outside of the playoffs this past season, Yzerman has continued to build a winning system.