General Manager Steve Yzerman said today that Vladislav Namestnikov, first-round draft pick by the Lightning in last summer's NHL Entry Draft, would be returned to the London Knights fo the OHL later today. The move reduces the the active preseason roster to 53 players.
Yzerman has said before he has no intentions on rushing team prospects to the NHL, and Namestnikov is an example of that. While he has shown skill in his time with the Bolts this preseason, he's not at the point where he'd be pressing for a shot on a crowded roster.
Meanwhile, as Clark already pointed out earlier, former first-round draft picks Carter Ashton (2009) and Brett Connolly (2010) will both be playing at the St. Pete Times Forum on Friday night against the Panthers. Both players have an outside shot at the active roster, but are competing in a crowded field that includes Mattias Ritola, Dana Tyrell, Cory Conacher, Tom Pyatt and Michel Oullet.