The Tampa Bay Lightning hit a 10 at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, and it remains to be seen if that's a quality thing... We'll find out with player development over the years. Right now that's simply a numerical object. The Lightning selected 10 times total after acquiring another draft selection this morning. That's 10 players that have taken on the title of "prospect" in the Lightning system.
The acquired pick, #37 overall, became the third pick the Lightning held in the 2nd round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. The cost to acquire the pick was defenseman Anthony DeAngelo. DeAngelo, who went pro last season and played in 69 games for the Syracuse Crunch, had been taken with the 19th overall draft selection in 2014. While he produced 6 goals and 37 assists for 43 points and had a plus/minus of minus-18 (don't judge him on the plus/minus; the Crunch D as a whole was lackluster last season). DeAngelo also had character questions and spent most of the games he did not play as a healthy scratch. To see a highly-touted righty-shot get dealt does not inspire, but the move should be looked at as a character move for the club going forward (and by character, I'll link to this, say "more" and then say no more).
So! The Bolts selected at the following picks through the final 6 rounds today to go along with #27 overall pick Brett Howden: 37, 44, 58, 88, 118, 148, 178, 206 and 208.
And to cut to the chase, here are the new members of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization:
#37: Libor Hajek, defenseman, Saskatoon Blades (WHL): Left hand shooting Czech defenseman, the 6'2", and 185 lbs. defenseman is only going into his second year in North America this coming season. From Last Word on Sports:
Libor Hajek projects as a strong defensive defenceman, who also adds a little offense from the back end. With an improved slap shot and a little bit better high end speed; he could be even more than that; but it's more likely that his ceiling is as a complimentary defenceman on the top pair. His style is reminiscent of Marc Methot, though this is a style comparison only and not one based on talent.
#44: Boris Katchouk, forward (LW), Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL): He was a rookie with the Greyhounds last season (and is likely to stay with them for some time still), posting 24 goals and 27 assists. I'll let our buddies from over at Blueshirt Banter give you more:
Katchouk is a jack of all trades, master of none. No particular skill set of his is alone incredible. Rather, it's the whole package that is enticing. Though he's not particularly tall, he has a thick, muscular frame, and he uses it well. He is a powerful skater and I imagine it's intimidating for a defenseman when he's accelerating through the neutral zone. This enables him to create lots of transition chances. He's exhausting to watch, and I would think even more exhausting to play against. Every shift he is tenaciously skating and attacking the puck. Offensively, he has an above-average shot but excels mostly in battles for pucks in the slot. He shields the puck well and that combined with his motor makes him very effective when driving to the net.
#58: Taylor Raddysh, forward (RW), Erie Otters (OHL): It'll be the 6'2" wing's third full season in the OHL this upcoming season, having played 58 and 61 games between 2014-15 and 2015-16. He played 58 games in '14-15 (scoring 21 goals with 6 assists) and 67 last season (24 goals and 49 assists). I think you can see his game diversifying a bit between seasons there... Read more about the "complimentary power forward" in All about the Jersey's scouting report.
#88: Connor Ingram, goalie, Kamloops Blazers (WHL): The 6'1" Swede will reach 20 years old in March. His GAA has been split between 2.61 and 2.66 in his two seasons and 113 total games played for the Blazers of the WHL. His save percentage has also improved (.904 to .922) in his two seasons as well. It's notable that he was an invite to a prospect camp for the Detroit Red Wings last year and also draft eligible but passed up on the board in 2015.
#118: Ross Colton, forward, Cedar Rapid RoadRunners (USHL): Statistics should be what are first mentioned, but it's noteworthy that Colton turns 20 on September 11th. He scored 35 goals and 31 assists last season for the RoadRRunners.
#148: Christopher Paquette, center, Niagara IceDogs (OHL): Does the name stand out? It should. And yes, he is in fact related to forward Cedric Paquette (cousins). That connection is likely what draws the pick, because the stats from his time in the OHL are lackluster: 108 games played total in 2 seasons, with 12 goals and 18 assists, total. Perhaps that projects Paquette for a lower-line role, but most lower-line NHL players achieved to one degree or another while in junior hockey.
#178: Oleg Sosuno, defenseman: Due to trouble and inconsistence with search results when calling him up on the search engines, I'll quote the Lightning press release directly:
With the 178th overall selection in the sixth round, the Bolts selected defenseman Oleg Sosunov. The Ryazan, Russia native skated in 39 games with Loko-Yunior of the Russia Jr. 2 league, recording four goals and 12 points to go along with 66 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-8, 230-pound defenseman also appeared in three games with Yaroslavl of the Russia Jr. League.
#206: Otto Somppi, center, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL): The Finnish prospect made his North American debut with the QMJHL team this past season, scoring 13 goals and 33 assists in 59 games played. From NHL Draft Site:
Quebec league import with high skill and puck-handling ability. Has the skill to wiggle and weave through traffic and make plays. heir heels. Has the skill to wiggle and weave through traffic and make plays.
#208: Ryan Lohin, center, Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL): Last but not least, the 6-foot lefty center from the USHL turns 20 in January. He's played two full seasons in the USHL, getting traded last season and splitting time with Waterloo and the Madison Capitals. Though that means he's been working in two different situations, Lohin has compiled 23 goals and 44 assists in 62 total games played.
While age will factor in on eligibility to go pro (be it the ECHL Kalamazoo Wings or the AHL Syracuse Crunch), some are destined to return to the junior ranks for another season while others have a longer path ahead by way of college hockey. In one way or another, their process of becoming pro hockey players has begun with their selections in the 2016 NHL Draft and joining the Lightning. What's next is a story we'll find out together as time progresses.