The votes are in. The numbers have been crunched. Today we will kick off our list of the top 25 players under the age of 25 in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. It was an interesting year for the rankings as the Lightning had a pretty big siphoning off of young talent over the last year.Along with the usual aging out of players, Boris Katchouk, Taylor Raddysh, Mathieu Joseph, Sammy Walker, and Cole Guttman are all players that have appeared on past lists that left the organization. Couple that with an overall lack of high draft picks and the amount of young players has dwindled quite a bit.
That being said, there are still plenty of intriguing players on the Lightning and in the pipeline. For the most part, the writers and the readers were pretty close in their rankings (the same ten players appeared in the top ten on both lists, and the top three were exactly the same). There were some difference in opinions further down the list and a few players ended up higher than I expected.
Last year Mikhail Sergachev took top billing. Was his strong, but inconsistent 2021-22 season enough to stave off the competition? Where will Isaac Howard debut? Spoiler, he made the list. Are there any goaltenders on the list? Do they need any goaltenders on the list with Andrei Vasilevskiy locked in for the near future?
These questions and more will be answered starting later today.
Lightning / NHL News
Future hall-of-famer Victor Hedman comes in second to Cale Makar. He had a career season last year and has been a Norris Trophy finalist in each of the last six seasons. That being said, with the year Makar had last season, I have no problem with the top two rankings.
Vegas Golden Knights to use tandem in net [ESPN.com]
Laurent Brossoit and Logan Thompson will be splitting the starts as the Golden Knights cope with the loss of Robin Lehner who will be out for the whole season following double hip surgery. It’s a plan...not sure if it’s a good one. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re looking for a different solution by the end of November.
Bobby Orr traded [Halifax Mooseheads]
Not that Bobby Orr. Robert Orr, a 2021 fifth-round pick of the Carolina Panthers, was traded to the Gatineau Olympiques (Benoit Groulx’s old club) for a second-round pick in 2024 and a fifth-round pick in 2023. The right winger had 76 points (36 goals, 40 goals) in 104 games for the Mooseheads in his two seasons in Halifax.
Nathan MacKinnon could be made highest-paid player in the NHL [Mile High Hockey]
Speaking of Halifax, a kid from that town could break the record for the biggest contract in hockey. This season is the final one that Nathan MacKinnon will play under his current cap hit of $6.3 million. He’ll be a 27-year-old unrestricted free agent and looking to cash in. Right now, Connor McDavid’s $12.5 million cap hit is the largest in the league while Tyler Seguin’s (!) $13 million is the highest salary. MacKinnon should blow past both of those numbers when he signs his new deal.
Not having your goaltender (Jake Oettinger) and your best forward (Jason Robertson) under contract with less than a month to go until training camp is definitely a concern. Not a problem, yet, but definitely a concern.
“I wanted to share it with all you guys,” Kadri said. “I’m hoping this inspires kids to pursue their dreams. I had great support and seeing all of you come out just motivates me more.
In an odd quirk of scheduling, the Tampa Bay Lightning play the New Jersey Devils two games in a row in New Jersey (March 14th and 16th). It could be a special night for the Foote family as it could be the first time Cal Foote lines up against his brother Nolan. The 21 -year-old forward is fighting to stay up with the Devils this season.
2022 Women’s World Championship results
Denmark 1, Hungary 0
The standings after the first weekend of play: