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Lightning Round: OHL officially shuts down for 2020-21 season

Tampa’s two prospects will be in the AHL for the rest of the year.

Syracuse Crunch Declan McDonnell (52) on the ice against the Rochester Americans in American Hockey League (AHL) action at the Upstate Medical University Arena in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, February 20, 2021. Rochester won 3-2.
Credit: Scott Thomas

On Tuesday, the OHL announced that the league will not be able to conduct a season this year after further COVID protocols were enacted in Ontario. The other major junior leagues in Canada are discussing playing some sort of small tournament for draft eligible players to show what they can do ahead of the NHL Draft in June. That idea is still in early days, however.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have two prospects who were eligible to play in the OHL this season: Jack Thompson (2020, 3rd) and Declan McDonnell (2020, 7th). Ironically, both are in the AHL at the moment. Thompson and McDonnell expect to be back in the OHL next season, when the league hopes to have a full season. After that year they’ll be eligible to go back to the AHL.

Lightning Links

The Carolina Hurricanes beat the Bolts 4-1 last night. [Raw Charge]

“Missing Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov is a clear issue for the Lightning offense. The creativity and puck control both of those players provide (both at even strength and the power-play) is sorely missed with Brayden Point carrying the offensive load. The Lightning buoyed themselves thanks to strong goaltending and a hot streak from Ross Colton, but that only holds for so long.”

It was a tough week for the Syracuse Crunch, but Taylor Raddysh put together an award-winning week to help buoy them to a 12-8-1 record. [Raw Charge]

“It was a busy week for the Syracuse Crunch, filled with frustration but also growth by the end of it. After games on Tuesday and Wednesday, I was worried the theme of the week was going to be penalties. The Crunch took way too many and got punished for those mistakes hard, but credit to them as on Saturday and Monday, the team really clamped down on their lapses and played a much more “normal” game against WBS and Utica for back-to-back wins.”

“Solar Bears Weekly Check-In: Brought to You By the Letter L.” Oh no. [Raw Charge]

“For the first time all season, Orlando plays a team that’s not in either Florida or South Carolina. They will head north to Indianapolis for a 3-game weekend set with the Fuel, who sit just two points head of Orlando for second place in the Eastern Conference. This has the makings of a first round playoff preview, perhaps?”

The Penguins vs Devils game was absolutely wild last night. First, the Penguins jumped out to a 6-0 lead, and then the Devils almost came all the way back, before eventually still finding a way to win the game 7-6. The Penguins were also the first team in NHL history to be outscored by five goals in the third period and still win. What a stat!