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Lightning Picks from the Fifth Round to the Seventh

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With information on these products getting more scarce, we lumped the final five picks together

2021 NHL Draft - Round 2-7 Photo by NHL Images/NHLI via Getty Images

This is where the Tampa Bay Lightning like to find value in their picks and with five picks over the last fifty-four selections they will be busy late. As the information will be a little more scarce, and the picks coming a little faster, we will group all of them together and release them at one time. Besides, there are only so many photos of Julien BriseBois we can post.

Round Five, Pick 160:

Cameron MacDonald, Forward, Saint John Sea Dogs

The center/LW put up 10 goals in 30 games in his first season in the QMJHL with Saint John. It seems he has a pretty heavy shot that he can release quickly. He can skate and a relatively large frame that should play well as he advances in hockey. Defensively he can use some work and has to focus on not being a perimeter player on offense. Those are traits that can improve with maturity and MacDonald will return to the QMJHL and continue to develop for at least one more season.

Round Six, Pick 192nd overall:

Alex Gagne, Defenseman, University of New Hampshire

The Lightning continue to mine US Hockey with the selection of Gagne, a 6’3”, 207 lbs defenseman who is committed to the University of New Hampshire. He played in 53 games with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL and put up 26 points (3 goals, 23 assists) last season.

While recruiting Gagne, [UNH Head Coach Mike] Souza said he was impressed with the blue-liner’s size and decision making.

“He’s got a real high work ethic, he wants to be a pro, he wants to be a player at the highest level and the fact he’s a New Hampshire kid adds to that excitement for us,” Souza said.

He was invited to the World Junior Summer Showcase that takes place later this month and is part of the process for selecting the players that will play for the US team in World Junior Championships in 2022.

Round Seven, Pick 196

Daniil Pylenkov, SKA St. Petersburg

At 20-years-old the Lightning are dipping into the overage well with this pick (kind of like they did with Amir Miftakhov last season). The 6’1”, 194 lbs left-shooting defenseman played 54 games with Vityaz Podolsk of the KHL last season. He put up 19 points (5 goals, 14 assists) in that time span which isn’t bad for a 19-year-old in the top league in Russia. He does use his size to close out opposing forwards. Pylenkov was also part of the Russian team that won the silver medal in 2020 World Juniors.

He was just traded to SKA St. Petersburg, but at 20-years-old is eligible to come over and play at the AHL level. With the lack of depth on the left side of the defense in the system, it is possible that the Lightning do try to bring him over quickly.

Round Seven, Pick 211

Robert “Cooper” Flinton, Dartmouth College

He’s a big power forward (6’2”, 203 lbs) that is committed to play at Dartmouth next season. We’re in the long-term portion of the draft at this point. His last full season was 2019-20 where he put up 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) for St. Paul’s School in 27 games.

Round Seven, Pick 224

Niko Huuhtanen, Tappera Jr (Finland)

The Lightning finished off the draft by selecting another forward with size. Huuhtanen is 6’1” and 203 lbs as an 18-year-old. He put up 34 points (20 goals, 14 points) in 37 games for Tappara Jr in Finland. He was selected 2nd overall by the Everett Silvertips in the 2021 CHL Import Draft and signed a contract with them on July 19th so it looks like he’ll be coming over to play in the WHL.

Per Silvertips GM Dennis Williams:

“What brought us back to him was his ability to score goals. He uses his size and deception, his release is powerful, he’s a bigger kid who uses his body well to protect pucks and make plays, he’s good along the walls, he’s physical. Those are the elements that drew us to draft him in that spot.”

Oddly enough, he was brought in to replace some of the offense that Everett will lose due to the Lightning’s pick last season, Gage Concalves, heading to the Syracuse Crunch. He is good on the forecheck and isn’t afraid to use his size to win puck battles.