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Lightning Round: Development Camp is under way

Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning via Twitter (@TBLightning)

The prospects for the Tampa Bay Lightning descended upon the bay area to kick off the 2023 development camp at the TGH Ice Plex. The future members of the team started on-ice workouts on Sunday and will continue through tomorrow. On Tuesday and Wednesday they will split up into teams and conclude things with their annual 3-on-3 tournaments.

Recent draft picks Ethan Gauthier and Jayson Shaugabay joined the previous announced roster which features all of the top prospects in the organization, including last year’s first-round pick, Isaac Howard.

For the most part, these camps are for the coaching staff to check in on the younger players in the organization that likely won’t have much ice time once training camp starts in the fall. It also level sets expectations for the players before they return to their junior, college, or AHL teams.

As always, there are a few invitees sprinkled in with the prospects. These players aren’t members of the organization, but have a chance to impress the coaching staff with an eye on being signed for the future. This year’s invitees are:

Dillan Bentley (F)

Bentley is a 22-year-old center that is currently playing at UMass-Lowell. In his first season the 6’4″, right-shot put up 2 goals and 3 asssists in 22 games.

Tyler Duke (D)

Does the name sound familiar? It should as Tyler is Dylan Duke’s younger brother. The 18-year-old defenseman played at Ohio State last year, but entered the transfer portal and will be playing with brother Dylan at the University of Michigan in the upcoming season. Despite being 5’9″ the younger Duke plays a feisty game as he racked up 45 PIMs along with 4 goals and 8 assists last year for the Buckeyes.

Scott Wallford (D)

A 6’2″ defenseman currently enrolled at McGill University, Wallford was actually drafted by the Montreal Canadiens back in the third-round of the 2017 draft, but they chose not to sign him to an entry-level contract. At 24, he’s not necessarily a prospect, but a good showing at camp could lead to that illusive pro contract with a minor league team.

Ludvig Persson (G)

Persson is another collegiate athlete that transferred to a new university this summer. After three seasons at Miami University (Ohio) he’ll be strapping on the pads for the University of North Dakota.

The on-ice workouts and the three-on-three tournament is open to the public (see the roster link above for the schedule).

Ben Gaudreau (G)

While not on the roster, it has been reported that the Sarnia Sting goaltender was invited to camp. Originally drafted by the San Jose Sharks in 2021, he was able to re-enter the draft this year after they didn’t sign him by June 1. He went undrafted, but the 20-year-old is hoping to make a good impression.

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