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Lightning Round: Connor Bedard goes number one to the Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago sign
Photo by Tim Gouw / Unsplash

It wasn’t much of a surprise as the Chicago Blackhawks took the consensus number one pick in the 2023 NHL draft – Connor Bedard. The 18-year-0ld center for the Regina Pats will be the new face of the organization as they look to rebuild their team on the ice and their reputation off the ice. Chicago fans didn’t hesitate to drop their hard earned money on “98” sweaters:

Outside of Arizona taking defenseman Dmitri Simashev with the sixth-overall pick there weren’t too many surprises in the top half of the draft (and a surprising lack of draft-night trades). Leo Carlsson went second to Anaheim which allowed Columbus to draft Adam Fantilli. As expected Russian dynamo Matvei Michkov didn’t slip past the seventh spot as Philadelphia nabbed him with that pick.

With the pick that Chicago acquired from Tampa Bay in the Brandon Hagel deal they selected Oliver Moore from the U.S. NTDP. One other player with ties to the Lightning organization was also drafted in the first round. Daniil But was selected twelfth by the Coyotes. His father, Anton, was once a Lightning prospect when he was traded from the New Jersey Devils as part of a package for Andrei Zyuzin back in 2001. Anton never played for the Lightning as he spent his entire career in Russia.

Lightning / NHL News

Lightning trade Ross Colton for second-round pick [Raw Charge]

The Lightning joined the pre-draft trade frenzy as they sent the rights to restricted free agent Ross Colton to the Colorado Avalanche for a the 37th overall pick. We’ll see if they hold onto the pick or trade down to add a few more selections.

Players the Lightning might pick at 37 [Raw Charge]

Hardev took a swing at some names that might intrigue the Bolts now that they are back in the second round. A couple of the players, Charlie Stramel (21st – Minnesota) and Quentin Musty (26th – San Jose) went in the first round, but there is still plenty of talent out there.

General manager Julien BriseBois explained that the trade was purely a cap decision and he knew he wouldn’t be able to bring back all of the players that were pending free agents.

He also said that there is no update on re-signing Alex Killorn or Corey Perry.

The Lightning announced that the prospect showcase will kick off on July 2. They released the initial roster as well. It looks like their international free agent signings will be there along with the rest of the prospects still in the organization. One interesting invitee was Dylan Duke’s brother, Tyler, who is draft eligible and committed to play with his brother at the University of Michigan. They will likely add their draft picks from today to this roster.

New Jersey Devils sign Timo Meier to 8-year extension [All About the Jersey]

The Devils took care of some business as they signed their trade deadline pickup to an 8-year, $70.4 million contract. That breaks down to an annual average value of $8.8 million. Not too bad.

Vegas trades Reilly Smith to Pittsburgh [Pensburgh]

Stanley Cup champion Reilly Smith was traded to the Penguins for a 2024 third-round pick as Vegas looks to clear a little cap space and Pittsburgh rounds out their forward depth.

Vegas signs Ivan Barbashev to extension [Knights on Ice]

The Golden Knights took Smith’s $5 million cap hit and gave it to Ivan Barbashev as they signed the forward to a 5-year, $25 million deal. The forward, who was acquired at the trade deadline, was set to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Nashville not tendering an offer to Cal Foote [Twitter]

Jeff Marek is reporting that Nashville will not send an offer to restricted free agent and old friend Cal Foote. That would allow Foote to hit unrestricted free agency on July 1.

“Kyle from Chicago”

I’m sure some Lightning fans would have stood in line to light Leafs fan Steve Dangle up with a chop during the first round of the playoffs this spring. Well, here ya go. I’m not sure if the sound or the hand print was the most impressive part of this clip. A little bit of NSFW language. (for the record, Dangle is a pretty nice guy based on the interactions I’ve had with him..JG)

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