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Quick Strikes: NHL writers rank Top 10 players in Atlantic Division

and what’s your over/under on the Tampa Bay Lightning?

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders - Game Four
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: The Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate their overtime victory as John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders heads off the ice after Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Barclays Center on May 06, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Lightning defeated the Islanders 2-1 in overtime.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning have a few young defensemen in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch. “What we want to see out of next season” is these players improving and pushing for a spot in the NHL lineup in the near future. [Raw Charge]

Erik Cernak is in the same mold as Dominik Masin in that they’re both big, good in their own end, and have shown a bit of flair in the offensive zone. The only difference with Cernak is that he’s bigger (6’4”), younger (21), and right-handed. He too took a big step from being a stay-at-home defenseman in Erie of the OHL into becoming a more well-rounded defenseman at the professional level.

Gambling sites have set the over/under for team point totals for the upcoming season. The Lightning sit at a 107.5, would you bet the over or under? [The Hockey News]

The bookies are betting on big things for Tampa Bay, Toronto, Winnipeg and Nashville this season, not so much for Detroit, Ottawa and Vancouver. The gambling site Bodog has released its over/under point projections for the NHL’s 31 teams in 2018-19, with the Lightning, Leafs, Jets and Preds expected to battle for the Presidents’ Trophy.

Who are the Top 10 players in the Atlantic Division? How many Bolts make the cut? What would your top-10 be? [NHL dot com]

Though Karlsson, 28, could be traded by the Senators, for now he reigns supreme in the Atlantic Division. The two-time Norris Trophy winner carried the Senators to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final in 2017, despite an injured foot and ankle, with his dynamic skill, sheer determination and improved work in the defensive end. During the past five seasons, no NHL defenseman had more points than Karlsson’s 355 (83 goals, 272 assists), and he certainly should be regarded as the best offensive defenseman in the League.

The Prospects

WE HAVE PAINT AT WAR MEMORIAL!

The Game

Former Tampa Bay prospect Jonathan Drouin was ranked first by Habs Eyes on the Prize in their annual Top 25 Under 25 ranking. The 46-point winger was ranked no higher than #3 in Raw Charge’s T25U25 from the best of my knowledge. [Habs Eyes on the Prize]

Drouin entered last year’s list as the second-best player, just behind Galchenyuk. It’s hard not to drool over the skill he flashed during his days with the Tampa Bay Lightning, which is what pushed him into the top two in his first year.

The Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) has their championship match early Sunday morning / late Saturday night and is free to stream in youtube. It’s been a long summer without any hockey, but thankfully the winter in Australia is our summer! 1:00am EDT start time if you’re interested! [Reddit]