Lightning prospects / system update

It's been over a month since our first prospect update. For regular readers, you'll recall that in November we had posted stats for the majority of the players who had been invited to camp over the summer. Fresh draftees, tenured prospects, camp invitees, and (a single) KHL defectees

Below the fold, you'll find a list of players who didn't make the opening night roster for the Lightning and where they are now and just how they are performing in their current location.  Consider this a system update. 

Of course, the more complete place to find updates on Lightning prospects and just how they are producing is over at Bolt Prospects.  You'll find dao;u updates on more players in the Lightning system, unsigned draftees, college hockey recruits and those playing abroad.  For the meantime, here's where things stand with some of the players in the system on December 8th, 2009:

Forwards
Name
 
Team
League
Goals
Assists
Points
Carter Ashton   Lethbridge Hurricanes
WHL-Juniors
 
13
13
26
Brandon Bochenski   Norfolk Admirals
AHL
 
12
11
23
Ryan Craig***   Norfolk Admirals
AHL
 
9
6
15
Kyle DeCoste   Sault Ste. Marie / Belleville Bulls
(Combined stat total)
OHL - Juniors
 
9
8
17
Mitch Fadden   Norfolk Admirals
AHL
 
0
0
0
Adam Hall   Norfolk Admirals
AHL
 
4
7
12
Alex Hutchings   Barrie Colts
OHL-Juniors
 
18
20
38
Blair Jones***   Norfolk Admirals
AHL
 
6
13
19
Martins Karsums   Norfolk Admirals
AHL
 
1
4
5
Chris Lawrence   Norfolk Admirals
AHL
 
0
3
3
Richard Panik   Windsor Spitfires
OHL-Juniors
 
7
9
16
Juraj Simek   Norfolk Admirals
AHL
 
4
9
12
Radek Smolenak***   Norfolk Admirals
AHL
 
3
9
12
Matias Sointu   Ottawa 67's / Sudbury Wolves
(combined stat total)
OHL-Juniors
 
4
7
11
Paul Szczechura**   Norfolk Admirals
AHL
 
6
8
14
Lauri Tukonen   Lukko Rauma
FNL-Europe
 
5
9
14
Dana Tyrell   Norfolk Admirals
AHL
 
0
9
9

**currently with the Lightning
***Has spent time at NHL level this season

Craig, Jones, Smolenak and Szczechura have all spent time in the NHL this season: Szczechura (or "Chewie" for short) is currently with teh Lightning. Jones was with the Lightning last week and Craig the week before. Radek Smolenak had been claimed off waivers by the Chicago Blackhawks and played with the team early in the season until Chicago waived him and the Lightning reclaimed him.

Brett McLean who had been a camp invitee is not included int hese stats this time around. He is playing in Bern, Switzerland and is not Lightning property.

Three of the above forwards that are listed really piqued my curiosity. Richard Panik (who was considered a steal in the draft this June), Dana Tyrell (who put on a show during the Young Guns camp in July) and Mitch Fadden (who has played in only four games and it wasn't clear what the deal was). I contacted Pete Choquette of Bolt Prospects and he lent some insight on the three.

Panik's numbers were quiet low considering the hype around his abilities. Who can forget his pre-season goal against Sarnia of the OHL? Pete explained things:

I don't think you can completely chalk up Panik's slow start to him falling into bad habits (being out of shape/not putting in a full effort), which was the knock that dropped him from being a potential lottery pick to a late 2nd rounder. Windsor's a very deep team offensively and so Panik's not really required to carry the scoring load. He's playing more of a supporting role for them. That said given how well Loktionov scored there last season as an import I definitely did expect better numbers. I still expect him to be signed in the summer. We'll see if he picks it up in the second half and what should be a long Windsor playoff run. He's got elite level talent.

Tyrell's situation seems to be shaking off rust from hsi devestating knee injury suffered last season in juniors, just as much as it's an adjustment year against bigger opponents. Pete expects a stronger second half from Tyrell, but made it a point to point out what's expected out of Dana in the end:

Bear in mind, though, he's not really an elite scoring prospect. He's always projected to be more of a Vermette type pesky 2nd/3rd line guy.

Fadden has been out with an injury since early in the AHL season after taking a shot to hsi lower body. He only started skating again in late November and is not yet back with the Admirals. Pete described Fadden as "a project" who will have to improve upon his soft reputationto make a dent in the forward depth in Norfolk.

Defense

Name
Team
League
Goals
Assists
Points
Mark Barberio   Moncton Wildcats QMJHL-Juniors  
2
20
22
Scott Jackson   Norfolk Admirals AHL  
0
5
5
Matt Lashoff   Norfolk Admirals AHL  
1
2
3
Mike Lundin***   Norfolk Admirals AHL  
2
10
12
Vladmir Mihalik   Norfolk Admirals AHL  
0
8
8
Kevin Quick   Norfolk Admirals AHL  
0
2
2
Ty Wishart   Norfolk Admirals AHL  
3
3
6

***Has spent time at NHL level this season

Statistics that are missing here and important to getting a better idea of how defensemen are performing are average time-on-ice and plus/minus raitings. Unfortunately the stats are not universally presented among junior age players and the AHL, and that's been part of the reason why I have not included it. Admirals players stats are presented with plus/minus ratings, however, so I do encourage you to jump over there if you are curious.

The entire story on the Bolts defensive prospects is thus:  With the backlog of defensemen in Tampa, one has to seriously impress to be called up.  Mike Lundin achieved that a few weeks ago.  Head Coach had nothing but praise for Lundin:

"He's a strong player. He can get underneath people and throw people around. He's chased down some of the best players in the world in (Ilya) Kovalchuk and (Marian) Gaborik. His poke check is as good as (Victor) Hedman. He's got a very good stick. ... He's an NHL defenseman."

But until the defensive backlog in Tampa is cleared out (and we've been waiting for this since last September), Lundin playing in the NHL will continue to be on hold..

Goaltenders

Name
 
Team
League
Win
Loss
OTL
Save %
GAA
Riku Helenius   Norfolk Admirals AHL  
4
6
0
.909
2.40
Jarsolov Janus   Erie Otters OHL-Juniors  
4
2
1
.915
2.93
Kari Ramo*   Omsk Avangard KHL  
14
10
2
.913
2.03
Dustin Tokarski   Norfolk Admirals AHL  
8
7
0
.911
2.47
Michael Zador   Oshawa Generals OHL-Juniors  
10
9
3
.900
3.23

*Ramo was not in camp, yet this single instance I thought it was appropriate to show how the player is doing, as Ramo is still Lightning property

Janus, who had played the first month or so on a tryout basis with the Admirals, returned to Erie of the OHL where he had played last season... This gets him the minutes he deserves instead of having to sit behind Tokarski and Helenius.

We'll revisit these players in the new year in our next statistics update.

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