The Tampa Bay Lightning will once again be taking part in a prospect showcase with the Nashville Predators, Carolina Hurricanes, and Washington Capitals. The Predators will be this year’s host. The showcase will be held from September 7th through 10th in Antioch, TN just outside of Nashville. Lightning prospects report, take physicals, and practice during the two days before the showcase begins. Over the four days of the showcase, the four teams will play a round robin, playing each of the other teams once each. The games will be streamed live on TampaBayLightning.com. The Lightning schedule is as follows:
- Saturday, Sept 7, 4pm vs Nashville Predators
- Sunday, Sept 8, 4pm vs Carolina Hurricanes
- Tuesday, Sept 10, 10am vs Washington Capitals
The Lightning’s roster contains mostly players that will be playing in the AHL, ECHL, or CHL this season. NCAA bound prospects are not allowed to participate in this showcase the way they are in the development camp that follows the NHL Entry Draft. Participation in this event would jeopardize their NCAA eligibility. The one player from outside the leagues listed above is Mikhail Shalagin who will be playing in Russia this season.
The Lightning are bringing 14 forwards, seven defensemen, and two goaltenders. There are seven invitees on the roster, though Peter Abbandonato is signed to an AHL Contract with the Syracuse Crunch. The two Foote brothers are the only 1st rounders on the roster and are joined by four 2nd rounders, two 3rd rounders, one 4th rounder, two 6th rounders, and three 7th rounders. Two players were undrafted free agent signings.
- Peter Abbandonato (invitee) - Technically an invitee, Abbandonato was signed to an AHL Contract. A 21 year old center, Abbandonato scored 111 points last year in the QMJHL and will be competing for a roster spot with the Syracuse Crunch, but could end up with the Orlando Solar Bears in the ECHL.
- Alex Barré-Boulet - Barré-Boulet had an outstanding rookie season for the Syracuse Crunch and will be looking to build on that as he competes for an NHL roster spot and prove that his season wasn’t a fluke after scoring half of his goals on the power play.
- Maxim Cajkovic - A third round pick this year, Cajkovic’s selection was celebrated by prospect watchers. He played on a horrible team in the QMJHL and should have more to give than his points totals indicated. This will be a great opportunity for him to show off his skills while playing with, and against, better players. He’ll head back to the QMJHL after he’s released from training camp.
- Ross Colton - One of the older players on the roster, Colton scored 14 goals and 31 points in 66 games as a rookie last year with the Syracuse Crunch.
- Nolan Foote - Foote was the Lightning’s first round pick this summer. He has a great shot and hockey IQ, but his skating has been a knock. This will be an opportunity for him to continue working on the fine points of his game before going back to the WHL for the season.
- Gabriel Fortier - Fortier was a 2nd round pick in 2008. He scored 83 points in 68 games in the QMJHL and will be headed back for another year of juniors. He failed to record a point in four games and one playoff game for the Syracuse Crunch at the end of last year.
- Jimmy Huntington - Huntington broke out as an overager last year in the QMJHL scoring 40 goals and 92 points in 66 games. He’ll be competing for a roster spot with the Syracuse Crunch after having earned an Entry Level Contract.
- Boris Katchouk - A 2nd round pick in 2016, Katchouk is a big bodied winger that just finished his first season in the AHL. It was a bit of a let down offensively as he only scored 11 goals and 23 points in 75 games. He’ll be looking to build on that and show improvement as a sophomore.
- Alexey Lipanov - Lipanov was drafted in the third round in 2017 and has been a disappointment in the OHL that past two years. He recorded four points in four games for the Solar Bears and recorded another assist in four playoff games at the end of the season. He’ll compete for a spot with the Crunch, but could be headed back to Orlando to start the season.
- Ryan Lohin - Lohin decided to leave UMass-Lowell following his junior campaign this spring. He played in three games for the Crunch without recording a point. He should be playing for the Crunch this season.
- Taylor Raddysh - Selected at the end of the second round in 2016, Raddysh is another big bodied winger like Katchouk. He did better as a rookie in the AHL recording 18 goals and 46 points in 70 games. He’s probably still a year away from the NHL, but a strong sophomore campaign could put him a big step closer to the dream.
- Mikhail Shalagin - This is the name I was most surprised to see on the roster. Shalagin was selected in the 7th round in this year’s draft. He’s tall but slight at 6’4” and 185 pounds. But he absolutely dominated in the MHL the past two seasons. Last year, he scored 48 goals in 43 games. He’s most likely to be playing in the KHL for Spartak Moskva or their VHL affiliate this year.
- Otto Somppi - Somppi had to come on strong two seasons ago in the QMJHL to earn an ELC as a 7th rounder from 2016. He struggled in the AHL though with just four points in 27 games. He showed much better in the ECHL with 24 points in 21 games.
- Eli Zummack (invitee) - Zummack is a small center at 5’9” and 179 pounds. He’s been passed over twice in the NHL Entry Draft. He scored 15 goals and 68 points in 61 games last year in the WHL. He’s certainly got a playmakers touch and is probably looking to show enough here and through the season to earn an ELC with an NHL organization.
- Louis Crevier (invitee) - The Lightning will have a leg up in the NHL Prospects Showcase Basketball game bringing 6’7” Crevier to the event. Pair him with 6’9” Oleg Sosunov and you’ve got yourselves a good start to a hoops team. Crevier played 44 games last season in the QMJHL and recorded just four assists. He also only recorded two penalty minutes which either means he was never on the ice or he just doesn’t take any penalties at all. He is an invitee and will head back to the QMJHL.
- Alex Dersch (invitee) - A big German born defensman, Dersch spent last season in the QMJHL and scored 10 points in 53 games. He appears to be returning to Germany this season to play for Dusseldorfer EG in the DEL, though they loaned him to the Charlottetown Islanders last year and could do so again.
- Cody Donaghey (invitee) - Donaghey has spent the past two seasons in the ECHL. He broke out last season scoring 15 goals and 43 points in 64 games for the Orlando Solar Bears and will be back with them this season.
- Cal Foote - Foote had a terrific rookie season with the Syracuse Crunch recording 10 goals and 31 points in 76 games. He played in all situations and made strides throughout the season. With the signings of Kevin Shattenkirk and Luke Schenn, it’s unlikely Foote makes it to the NHL this season unless there are multiple injuries. But he’s not far off and 2020 could be his time to shine in the NHL.
- Quinn Schmiemann - A sixth round pick this year, Schmiemann is an intriguing prospect. He recorded five goals and 28 points in 58 games in his first full WHL season. Look for him to bring his offense along further this year and show he’s got more in the tank.
- Oleg Sosunov - A giant among men, Sosunov towers above all at 6’9”. He’s still learning to use his size though as he recorded just one point, a goal, in 20 games with the Crunch as a rookie. He recorded five points in 17 games with the Orlando Solar Bears. Sosunov is a long term project for the organization that they’re hoping will pay off in the next few years.
- Matt Spencer - Spencer is the only Lightning skater with multiple years of professional experience. He has spent the past two seasons split between the AHL and ECHL having played a total of 50 AHL games with six points and 50 ECHL games with 18 points. He’s entering the last year of his ELC and is looking like a non-tender candidate if he doesn’t make strides on the ice.
- Matt Greenfield (invitee) - Originally from Parkland, FL, Greenfield played in the OHL, USHL, and BCHL before going to the University of Calgary for three seasons. He signed an ATO with the Springfield Thunderbirds in the AHL last season but did not appear in a game. He is currently unsigned for the coming season.
- Clint Windsor (invitee) - Windsor started last season playing in Denmark after having completed four years at Brock University. He signed with the Solar Bears in January and played eight games over the rest of the season. The Solar Bears have re-signed him for this season.