Head coach of the Syracuse Crunch, Rob Zettler, does not expect Tampa Bay Lightning center Vladislav Namestnikov back in the AHL any time soon.
Zettler on Namestnikov: "He looks like he belongs up there. I'd be very surprised if we see him again (in Syracuse)."— Jeremy Houghtaling (@JGHoughtaling) October 14, 2014
This follows a familiar trend for fans of the Lightning in reason seasons; Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov were two players in recent years expected to need more seasoning in the AHL that were called up to the NHL, impressed, and never looked back.
Namestnikov has a goal and assist for two points so far this year, both scored last night against the Montreal Canadiens in a 7-1 romp, in 3 games played in the 2014-15 season. He's averaging 10:36 of ice time per game skating primarily on a sheltered third line with former Syracuse linemates Nikita Kucherov and J.T. Brown(ov).
If you thought he was only here while Jonathan Drouin is still nursing a fractured thumb, well, think again.