Lightning tend to skip the wing with 1st round picks

Here's a bit of NHL Draft history that Lightning fans need to be aware of going into the 2010 Entry Draft in LA later this month: Nikita Alexeev and Carter Ashton are the only two players designated as wings that the Bolts have selected in the first round. Overall, including drafts where the Bolts had no first round pick, you can add Sheldon Keefe, Adam Henrich and Dana Tyrell to the list.

And if you hadn't heard of Keefe, Henrich, Alexeev or even Tyrell, you wouldn't be in the minority.  All but Tyrell are out of the organization and out of NHL hockey.  Tyrell, selected in 2007, is hoping to crack the Bolts roster this upcoming season.

The Lightning have generally failed at developing their own wings (be they scoring threats or defensive forwards) through the organization, often opting to convert drafted centermen to wing in order to fill the need. While there are wing prospects in the system at current (Tyrell, Ashton, Johan Harju, Richard Panik, and Alex Hutchings to name a few) the two most recent wings to make the Lightning and earn any amount of playing time were Evgeny Artyukhin (2001, 96th overall who played 145 games in two seasons with the Lightning) and Radek Smolenak (2005, 73rd overall, 6 total games with the Lightning).

While some currently look at the 2010 draft class and see Moncton Wildcats defenseman Brandon Gormley as the right selection for the Bolts at #6, it may be wiser for the Lightning to take a long hard look at forwards such as LW Nino Niederreiter or RW Brett Connolly who should be available at the sixth position.