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Tampa Bay Lightning announce 2018 Prospect tournament roster

With 24 players reporting to camp, the Lightning will take on the Capitals and Predators in Estero.

2017 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced their 24-player roster for the 2018 Prospect showcase tournament. The Washington Capitals and Nashville Predators will also be participating. The three-team tournament will be played in Estero, FL at Germain Arena the home of the ECHL’s Florida Everblades. The Lightning will also be practicing at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum on September 7th and 8th before the tournament.

The Lightning’s first game will be on Sunday, September 9th against the Predators at 1 p.m. and will follow that with a 10 a.m. game against the Capitals squad on Monday, September 10th. For Tampa Bay fans living in the area, the two to three hour drive to Estero is a reasonable one to make especially for the Sunday game.

The Prospect training camp mostly includes players that are playing in the CHL leagues this season along with rookie and sophomore AHL players. NCAA and NCAA bound players are unable to attend as it would make them ineligible to play collegiately. The Lightning’s two European based prospects that were drafted this summer, Dmitri Semykin and Magnus Chrona, also will not be taking part as their seasons are set to begin in the next week or two.

As we’ve already talked about a lot of the Lightning’s prospects in recent months through the RawCharge Top 25 Under 25 series, I want to highlight here the invitees for this camp. You can find the full roster broken down by where a player is going this season at the bottom.

One common theme that you will see for most of the invitees is that they have been passed over in the draft for one reason or another. For most of them, it is as simple as they did not perform well enough in their draft year to get the notice of scouts. While scoring a half point per game in the NHL or even the AHL is a pretty good scoring clip, it’s not a great sign for a CHLer for when he steps into the professional ranks. Most CHL players need to score at least a point per game by the time they graduate from juniors to earn a entry level contract.

The fact that the Lightning have invited them to this camp means that there is something there that the Lightning like in the player. It doesn’t mean they will definitely sign them at some point, but means they at least want to take a closer look and keep an eye on the player going into the future as a possible undrafted free agent signing down the road. Alex Iafallo was one such player the Lightning invited to development camp, but he ended up signing with the Los Angeles Kings last summer and had a successful rookie season with the Kings.

Jackson Leppard

A left winger with the Prince George Cougars in the WHL, Leppard is listed at 6’1” and 201 pounds. He is an 18 year old that was passed over in the draft this summer. He has two seasons under his belt in the WHL scoring four points in 35 games as a rookie in 2016-17. Last season, he scored 15 goals and 36 points in 68 games played. He also had 95 penalty minutes. Price George was not a very good team last year and did not make the playoffs. Leppard was ranked between 120 and 150 by three different scouting services before the draft suggesting that there certainly is some positives in his game.

Matthew MacDougall

MacDougall comes from the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL. In 66 games, he scored 17 goals, and 32 points. He also only had 14 penalty minutes showing that he is a fairly disciplined player on the ice. In six playoff games, he was kept off the scoresheet. Listed at 5’10” and 170 pounds, MacDougall has size concerns. While the Lightning have shown it’s ok to be small, you still have to be offensively dynamic to overcome that and MacDougall hasn’t shown that yet. He’ll be looking to make more of an impact in his sophomore season with Windsor.

Chase Wouters

Another WHLer, Wouters comes from the Saskatoon Blades and participated in development camp earlier this summer with the Lightning. He is listed as a center and left winger, though he is a right shot. At 6’0” and 176 pounds, he has good height, but needs more bulk on his frame like a lot of junior level players. Unlike the other two forwards, Wouters had some offensive success on a lower end team. In his rookie season in 2016-17, he scored six goals and 21 points in 54 games. He followed that up last season with 18 goals and 51 points over 72 games.

He also played six games for Canada Black U17 in the World Hockey Challenge U17 tournament where he had two goals and three points in six games. He was chosen to represent Team Canada at the World Junior Championship U18 tournament where he scored two goals and three points in five games. Wouters was on the radar of a number of scouting services ranked as high as the second round, but was passed over in the draft. Of the three forwards, he seems like the most likely to have professional success in the future.

Walter Flower

Now for the interesting names portion of the invitees. First, we get to Flower, a right handed defenseman. Flower is an older prospect at 19 years old. Coming from the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL, Lightning scouts checking up on Otto Somppi would have seen him over the past few seasons. He’s not much of an offensive defenseman though totaling only 36 points in 143 games over three seasons. He also has a very slight frame at 6’1” and 163 pounds.

Montana Onyebuchi

And the winner of the most interesting name of the showcase goes to Montana Onyebuchi. A native of Manitoba, Onyebuchi comes from the Kamloops Blazers in the WHL. He played his first season and a half with the Everett Silvertips and was traded to Kamloops at the deadline this year. As a rookie, he put up a goal and six points in 47 games. He had three goals and 10 points in 38 games with Everett last year and added another goal and seven assists in 24 games for the Blazers. Listed at 6’3” and 209 pounds, Onyebuchi is a big boy and he plays a tougher game with 188 PIMs in 109 WHL games.

Corbin Boes

Rounding out the invitees is the oldest member of the roster. Boes turned 25 years old this summer and is slated to play in net for the Orlando Solar Bears this season. At 6’3” and 220 pounds, he has good size for a goaltender. Despite his age, he is still eligible for the tournament because this will be his first professional season. After four years in the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings, Lethbridge Hurricanes, and Portland Winterhawks, Boes went to school at the Dalhousie University and played in USports, the Canadian version of NCAA.

AHL Bound Players

Forwards

  • Alex Barre-Boulet
  • Ross Colton
  • Mathieu Joseph
  • Boris Katchouk
  • Taylor Raddysh
  • Otto Somppi
  • Mitchel Stephens
  • Jonne Tammela
  • Alexander Volkov
  • Dennis Yan

Defensemen

  • Erik Cernak
  • Cal Foote
  • Oleg Sosunov
  • Matt Spencer

Goaltenders

  • Connor Ingram

CHL Bound Draft Picks

Forwards

  • Gabriel Fortier
  • Alexey Lipanov

Defensemen

  • Radim Salda

Invitees

Forwards

  • Jackson Leppard
  • Matthew MacDougall
  • Chase Wouters

Defensemen

  • Walter Flower
  • Montana Onyebuchi

Goaltenders

  • Corbin Boes