Day two of the NHL draft is officially underway. The Tampa Bay Lightning entered the day with five picks but didn’t waste any time acquiring a sixth in a trade with Vancouver. General Manager Julien BriseBois sent JT Miller to the west coast in exchange for Vancouver’s third round pick this year, a conditional first round pick in 2020 or 2021, and goalie Marek Mazanec.
The pick acquired from the Canucks will be the Lightning’s first pick of the day at 71. That will be followed by their own pick at 89 in the third round. After that, they have a fourth, a sixth, and two sevenths. They swapped their fifth for an extra seventh as part of the Slater Koekkoek for Jan Rutta trade.
Third Round - Pick 71
Hugo Alnefelt (G/HV71)
With their first pick of day two, the Lightning follow the trend of selecting goalies by going with Hugo Alnefelt. The Swedish goalie played mostly for HV71’s J20 team in the SuperElit in Sweden. He was Sweden’s U18 goalie and played well in international play, including at the U18 World Junior Championships. He posted a .920 save percentage in five games in that tournament, a .910 overall internationally, and a .905 in league play. Because he’s an international player, the team will control his rights for four years, giving him plenty of time to develop.
His movement is smooth and clean, and he’s more likely to undercommit than over-commit — something that can be fixed with some time and confidence development, but lowers his risk of injury by needing to double back when he shoots out past his posts. He’s got incredible technical core control, capable of making great glove saves while staying low in his skates and great at tracking pucks into his hands.
From the Hockey Prospect Black Book:
Alnefelt’s not the most technically gifted goaltender, but he gets the job done. He’s got a big frame and often sits in his crease, in the butterfly position, just waiting for pucks to hit him. While in that position, he is strong along the ice and saves the first shot more often than not. However, his rebound-control and balance, often puts him in an awkward position where he is falling forwards and cant find the puck. That particular position also tends to open up big openings for the shooters to pick their shot just under the crossbar. An interesting aspect of his game is that he will come up big and make a big desperation save when his team needs it the most and at the same time he tends to concede cheap ones early in the games as well.
He possesses some pretty decent lateral quickness, but yet again, he doesn’t recover well after that movement, but he doesn’t give up on the play and competes hard to at least, try to make that impossible save. His skating and game around and behind the net, leaves much room for improvement, since he’s not a very strong skater due to his balance being too much on his toes and his stickhandling needs to get worked on. He does read the dump-ins quickly and orders his defenders to come quickly to collect the puck.
Third Round - Pick 89
Maxim Cajkovic - (RW/Saint John’s Sea Dogs)
Cajkovic is prototypical Lightning selection in the third round. He’s a small winger with good hockey sense and some offensive upside. He didn’t produce the way he was expected to last season, putting up just 46 points in 60 games, and some scouts had questions about his effort level. But at the end of the third round, this is a nice upside pick for the Lightning after going safe with their first pick and addressing a need with their second. According to our consolidated rankings, Cajkovic was the best player left on the board at the time of the selection.
Cajkovic came into the season with hype as the first-overall pick in the CHL import draft and a great 16-year-old campaign. He played well but his counting numbers were suppressed by a rebuilding Saint John team. I do like his offensive toolkit. He’s a good skater with a separation gear and can gain the zone with his speed. He plays quick and is in motion a lot. He’s got good hands. He won’t go through several defenders at once but he can make plays in open ice and handle the puck in small areas. Cajkovic’s best traits are his IQ and shot. He’s great on the power play because he distributes the puck quite well and can ring shots off iron. Cajkovic generated a ton of shots on goal this season, up there with the elite prospects of this class. He’s a small guy, though, who doesn’t get into the tough areas as much as you’d like to see and can frustrate coaches at times with his effort level. He was even a healthy scratch this season in the Q in small spurts.
Hockey Prospect Black Book:
He’s more of a shooter than he is a passer; he’s got a very good shot from the point and is not shy to use it. He can either use his wrist shot or slapper, as he has a quick release and his puck poise is very good as well. He has the ability to beat guys one-on-one. His hands are above-average, and his patience with the puck can help him beat defensemen who are too aggressive while defending against him. His on-ice vision is not bad, but we’ve seen him miss some easy passes in our viewings. They can sometimes lack accuracy, and he also tends to hold onto the puck a bit too long. Talent-wise, Cajkovic has the talent needed to be a dominant player in the QMJHL for the next two seasons on a young (but talented) Saint John team. However, we want to see more maturity out of him. As far for the NHL goes, he’ll need to play at a higher pace and his compete level will need to get better. The talent is there, but his lack of compete level and work ethic makes him a risky pick for the draft.
Cajkovic is one of those players whose game is more than the sum of his production (46 points in 60 games). There have been few CHL teams in recent memory with as little a supporting cast as this year’s Sea Dogs had for Cajkovic. And still, on one of the worst teams in junior hockey, he found ways to make things happen and produce on a large percentage of his team’s goals (more than 30 percent when he was in the lineup, a number that is higher than some of his point per game draft counterparts). That, side-by-side three standout tournaments for Slovakia internationally and the second-best under-17 production in SuperElit a year ago (0.75 points per game) is impressive. And it lines up with my evaluation of his skill set, which has him as a flatfooted winger who is aggressive on the forecheck, attacks in waves with decent top speed, handles the puck deftly in traffic and can release his shot from a variety of stances and angles while under pressure in tight areas. Cajkovic has steal written all over him if he falls out of the second round.
Fourth Round - Pick 120
Max Crozier - (RD/Providence College)
Crozier didn’t get much public attention. He’s an overage right-handed defender with size who put up points in the USHL this season. He’ll be headed to Providence College in the fall. This pick aligns with the way the Lightning have handled the later rounds recently, drafting overage NCAA players. We only have two scouting reports on him and they vary widely. For the Lightning to select him, they must think there’s enough upside to be able to work through some of the concerns.
Hockey Prospect Black Book:
Crozier is all over the place defensively. His body and stick positioning are inconsistent and rarely on point. His shoulder squareness and timing of pivots are a glaring weakness. His feet stop moving often when he tries to attack on-rushing forwards with whatever he’s going to throw at them. He’s quick to give up his leverage against speed, often leaving his feet or committing early to a play outside the dot line that allows the middle of the ice to open up. He does like to attack rushes up high, but it’s a real risky style – these aren’t 50/50 situations, they’re closer to 20/80 situations in terms of them ever working out for him. Max makes bad pinches, but not so much when he’s trying to keep plays alive offensively, but more so when the opponent is in possession of the puck and trying to execute a controlled breakout. It’s not uncommon to see Crozier just buzzing through the neutral zone and end up jumping on some player’s back just outside the top of their own circle. He’s competitive and a needler, but his hockey sense is well below what we would like to see. The skating and skill combo doesn’t do nearly enough to counterbalance it either.
One of the USHL’s top-scoring defenseman, Crozier is a Providence-bound puck mover who was one of the top performers on a Sioux City squad that won the Clark Cup championship. Crozier is a one-man breakout who can deliver an accurate stretch pass or skate his way through traffic for an uncontested zone entry. Every one of his forays in to the offensive zone is done with confidence; even in moments where he may seem outnumbered or in a helpless situation. Crozier is very poised with the puck and doesn’t like to give it away for nothing. He was the primary point man on Sioux Falls’ lethal power play, where he did a great job sharing the puck with all those talented forwards while incorporating himself into plays between the circles for his own chance at the net. He owns a hard shot that is accurate, but it’s his ability to walk the line and pump fake rather than sling pucks blindly that lends to his high hockey IQ.
Sixth Round - Pick 182
Quinn Schmiemann - (D/Kamloops Blazers)
In the sixth round, the Lightning go back to the blue line selecting Quinn Schiemann out of the WHL. Schmiemann, in addition to having an elite name, is very young for this class. He’s still 17 years old and won’t turn 18 until July 27th. For players this young, they’re almost a full year of development behind other players in the draft so even a decent performance is a strong indicator. Schmiemann put up 28 points in 58 games this season, which is solid for a defender his age. While the previous pick of Crozier seemed to be a bet on a player with a lot of risk in his game, Schmiemann is the opposite.
Hockey Prospect Black Book
Schmiemann was quietly effective all season long, making consistent decisions and rarely putting himself in bad positions. Does not immediately jump off the page for any standout tools but the combination of hockey IQ, mobility, and skill allows him to play greater than the sum of his parts. Schmiemann skates well enough, with a solid side that allows him to get up the ice and retrieve pucks in the corner before pressure is right on him. Schmiemann could stand to work on his edgework as he did not show much escape-ability with the puck. Schmiemann rarely found himself in positions where he had to cleanly beat a forechecker as he kept very good positioning to retrieve pucks and often executed passes quickly to open outlets. Very reliable and consistent in his passing, rarely throwing his teammates grenades and mostly hitting tape to tape passes. Offensively lacked dynamism but made some impact thanks to a heavy shot that he often got through traffic, and the basic instincts to make himself available for passes. Schmiemann even was able to play a role on his teams powerplay thanks to his calm and efficient puck distribution. Schmiemann plays a solid positional game defensively, keeping himself in between his man and the net, and rarely losing track off the puck. Was rarely proactive in taking the puck off the opposition, and could use his frame and play with physicality more often.
Seventh Round - Pick 198
Mikhail Shalagin - (F/MHK Spartak Moskva)
With their first 7th round pick, the Lightning take another overager but this time out of Russia. Given his age, he could potentially come over the North America this season if the organization think he’s ready to contribute in Syracuse. He lit up the MHL last year with 75 points in 43 games and was the MVP. Granted, he should play well at his age in that league but he put up the numbers to suggest there’s something there. Elite Prospects has him 6’4” and 168 lbs, which means he’s a literal string bean if that’s accurate. But NHL Draft Tracker has him at 186 lbs, which would be more reasonable. He wasn’t ranked anywhere other than Corey Pronman’s list, where he came in at 99.
I put Shalagin on my list last season and he went undrafted. Coming into the season the record for most goals in the MHL (the top Russian junior league) in a single season was 42 goals in 54 games. Shalagin scored 48 in 43 this past season. Safe to say, he knows how to score goals. Shalagin had quite a few instances where he picked corners from a distance and showed a plus, if not a plus-plus shot. He’s got the soft skill to create chances and flashes high-end skill, although, for his age and the level, you wonder if he’ll be able to dangle as well in the KHL. While his goal-scoring is his value, he can make plays and has impressive hockey sense in terms of his vision and creativity. His skating is OK. He’s not that slow, but the stride is inefficient. He doesn’t get inside that much because he’s often trying to snipe from the circle, but he competes fine. He was 19 in the MHL and struggled at the international U20 level, so there is cause for concern if he was just too old for the level.
Seventh Round - Pick 213
McKade Webster - (LW/University of Denver)
With their final pick, the Lightning go back to the well of overage NCAA-bound players, selecting McKade Webster, who is headed to Denver this fall after playing just six games in the USHL this year. In the year prior, he scored 30 points in 58 games. Public information on Webster is very limited. We assume his games played total was so low last year due to injury but we’re unsure. None of the public lists had him ranked so we’ll have to do some research over the next few days to learn more about him.