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Lightning Round: Tampa Bay drafted seven players on the second day of the NHL Entry Draft

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Fourth-rounder Dylan Duke might be another late round steal for the Lightning.

2021 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Carlee Calfee/NHLI via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning concluded the second day of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft with seven selections. While the Lightning didn’t have a pick until the very end of the third round, some of their selections deserve attention. Yesterday we ran live coverage of the second round, and here’s the full list of picks:

Dylan Duke, an 18-year-old left-winger from the USA hockey’s National Team Development Program, is probably the most intriguing one. To be able to draft him, the Lightning traded their fourth-round pick in next year’s draft to the Montreal Canadiens, who originally possessed the pick. Duke was one of the most noticeable players at the latest U18 World Championship in Texas, and was considered as a middle-second round pick, but went off the radar due to his size. Despite it Duke is an elite competitor, who’s very efficient around the net and has a solid shot. Here’s what Justin wrote about him in his draft profile [Raw Charge]:

Duke is an 18-year-old left-winger that is listed at 5’10” and 180 lbs. Prior to the draft he seemed to be a consensus second-round pick among the prognosticators so the Lightning brain trust likely saw some value in trading back into the middle rounds to select him. The Strongsville, Ohio native checks off a lot of the boxes the Lightning like in their prospects. He is a high-energy player that has the ability to work in the corners and establish a presence in front of the net despite not being the largest gentleman on the ice.

The Lightning’s first selection of the 2021 NHL Draft, Roman Schmidt, is another player who perfectly fits in the Lightning organization. The 6-foot-6 right-handed defenseman is a very mobile player despite his size, with an “untapped offensive upside.” He could potentially fill the hole on the right side of the Lightning’s defense, which has been thinner than the left side in the recent seasons. Al Murray, Director of the Lightning’s Amateur Scouting, had this to say about their third-round selection:

The Lightning’s picks also include a Canadian center Cameron MacDonald, whom Al Murray compared with Barclay Goodrow or Cedric Paquette; a Russian overage defenceman Daniil Pylenkov, who was recently traded to the KHL’s powerhouse SKA St. Petersburg; and Niko Huuhtanen, a strong Finnish forward, who’s struggling with his skating ability. Check out our short draft recap: [Raw Charge]

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.

Al Murray admitted that due to relatively short offseason, there’s not enough time to hold a proper development camp, but the organization is planning to hold a prospect tournament.

Hockey News

The 2021 NHL Entry Draft was very strong for Canada and Russia in terms of the amount of drafted players. Both nations had the most selections since 2013 and 2003 respectively.

The Philadelphia Flyers traded forward Jakub Voracek to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for forward Cam Atkinson. Voracek was originally drafted by the Blue Jackets and played for them from 2008 to 2011.

The Buffalo Sabres officially confirmed trading forward Sam Reinhart to the Florida Panthers for goaltender Devon Levi and a first-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.

Cale Makar signed a six-year extension with the Colorado Avalanche with an AAV of $9 million.

The New York Rangers have officially bought out the Tony DeAngelo’s contract.