When the roster was named for Team OHL in this year’s Canada/Russia Series, it emphasized just how good a job the Lightning front office has done at the draft over the past few years. The Ontario team was littered with Bolts prospects, and over the two-game series, they certainly didn't disappoint.
Last night, game 2 was the Taylor Raddysh show. The Lightning second rounder scored twice - including once on a penalty shot - and added an assist. Raddysh has been on fire this season, he leads the OHL in scoring and has shown that his production is not just a byproduct of playing with Dylan Strome.
OHL leading scorer Taylor Raddysh converts his penalty shot to give #TeamOHL a 2-1 lead in CIBC #CANvsRUS https://t.co/pKRWSURkRM— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 15, 2016
If Raddysh was Team OHL’s best player last night, fellow Lightning prospect Boris Katchouk was a close second. Katchouk led the team with six shots on net and scored the team’s fourth goal on a very nice wrist shot from the slot.
Boris Katchouk capitalizes on the turnover to restore #TeamOHL's two-goal lead in Game 4 of CIBC #CANvsRUS https://t.co/NYeqqo4p2A— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 15, 2016
The impressive performance from Katchouk and Raddysh last night built on a great showing from 2015 Lightning pick Anthony Cirelli in game one Friday night. Though the OHL eventually lost 4-3, Cirelli tied the game up with a goal midway through the third period.
Team captain Mitchell Stephens was the only Bolts prospect to play in both games for the OHL. He was tasked with playing the role of shutdown center and penalty kill specialist. Stephens’ trademark is his speed and it was on full as both games were played at a much higher pace than you would normally see in junior hockey. After being held off the score sheet Friday night, Stephens had an assist yesterday on Will Bitten’s empty net goal.
Stephens and defender Matt Spencer were ok, while the other three Bolts prospects all stood out. Something that is very impressive given that they were playing on an All-Star team and none of them were drafted in the first round. The Lightning prospect pool is one of the deepest in the NHL and the two games for Team OHL is further proof of that.