Last night, two Lightning prospects combined for seven goals for the Saint John Sea Dogs as they defeat the Sherbrooke Phoenix 7-2 at home. Boko Imama, a 6th round pick by the Lightning in the 2015 draft, tied a Saint John record with four goals in the game. Only Zack Phillips, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Nathan Noel have managed that feat for the Sea Dogs in regular season or postseason play.
Imama joins Zack Phillips, Jonathan Huberdeau and Nathan Noel as the only #SJSeaDogs to score four times in a regular season or playoff game— Saint John Sea Dogs (@SJSeaDogs) November 13, 2016
Fellow prospect Mathieu Joseph chipped in with a hat trick of his own. Joseph was a 4th round pick in the 2015 draft by the Lightning. Joseph retook the QMJHL goal scoring league lead, going up to 19 goals on the season. Imama is now up to 11 goals, his best goal total since having 13 goals in 2014-15, which he split between Baie-Comeau Drakkar and Saint John.
Joseph is well on his way to earning a spot with Team Canada for the U20 World Junior Championship in December. His projection is likely as a bottom six energy winger in the NHL. BoltProspects.com has Joseph ranked as the number 13 player in the Lightning’s organization, and this is what they had to say about him in their recent prospect rankings.
One of the big movers in our rankings is surprising former fourth rounder Mathieu Joseph of the Saint John Sea Dogs. Another high-character, high-energy pick from the 2015 draft class, Joseph leaped up the development curve last year with 33 goals and 73 points in 58 games. Early returns from the QMJHL this year indicate Joseph isn't slowing down. Although somewhat slightly built, Joseph is athletically strong and active with no fear of driving to the high traffic areas. His fearlessness is accented by a softer set of hands than may have been originally been anticipated in his draft season. We expect him to continue to terrorize the QMJHL before moving up to the pro level next season. Pinning down his exact upside is a little more difficult now that he's already jumped a few lanes in his development. At a minimum, he looks like an outstanding option for a lower line energy winger in the traditional north-south pro mold once he makes it up to the NHL. However, we're starting to see the possibility of a new ceiling where Joseph tops out as a two-way third liner who, like Katchouk, can spot on a scoring line needing energy as a complimentary winger.
Boko Imama is likely not an NHL level talent, especially with the way the NHL has trended away from enforcers and tough guys that offer little else on the ice. However, he’ll have an opportunity next season to play a bottom line role for the Syracuse Crunch and could have a nice career in the minors or possibly in a European league like the EIHL that embraces fighting.
To celebrate both prospects’ feats, have some celebration GIFs courtesy of Saint John.