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Preview: Who might the Bolts draft with their new second round pick?

corona beer in pool

The Tampa Bay Lightning made a slash today after trading Ross Colton to Colorado to clear some cap space and adding a draft pick in the second round, 37th overall. Having checked out from the draft table after the Jeannot trade, there’s no time like the present to jump back into the pool and get a crash course on the 2023 draft class! And on the day of the first round, no less.

Ross Colton traded to Colorado for second round pick – Update
First reported by Elliotte Friedman, pending RFA Ross Colton has been traded from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Colorado Avalanche. We do not know the return as of yet but this article will be updated as more news comes in so refresh and stay tuned. Hearing Ross Colton will

The 2023 NHL Draft in Nashville

First up, the schedule for the 2023 NHL Draft. The first round will begin at 7pm ET tonight (Wednesday), and probably won’t end until around 11pm. That’s when the draft ended last year, with the 20th pick happening around 10pm. Considering how NHL games say they start at 7pm but really don’t start until 7:15pm, we expect a similar delay in getting the draft going with Connor Bedard and then with whatever trades get mixed in along the way.

The Lightning aren’t expected to play a part in the first round, especially since the pick they just got is relatively high in the second round. That takes us to tomorrow (Thursday) where rounds 2-7 will be called. The second round will start at 11am ET, meaning the Lightning should be picking sometime between 11am and 11:30am. Stay tuned for our analysis of the pick as we will do our best to share insight from the experts and draft watchers in our community.

After that, it’s a long wait until the Lightning pick again in the sixth round. During the pandemic years, the Draft took a full 12 hours. Hopefully this draft is done before dinner. It’ll be worth tuning in around 5pm to see how fast the picks are going. It’s also worth mentioning the Lightning are positioned in the latter half of the sixth round, and their two seventh round picks are Anaheim’s (early) and their own (second half).

Day 1 of the Draft will be on ESPN, Sportsnet, and TVAS. Day 2 of the Draft will be broadcast on the NHL Network, Sportsnet, and TVAS. In some years, rounds 2-7 weren’t televised. You can follow all the picks as they come in on Elite Prospects, or the NHL’s website.

Elite Prospects – NHL Entry Draft 2023
Ice Hockey Player Database and Transaction Portal

I’ve been following Brian S (Brigstew)’s extensive work at our (fellow independent) sister blog, Pension Plan Puppets, as he has built a very full picture of what the end of the first round and what the second round is going to look like for Leafs fans. Considering the Lightning are right there in that range now, if you are interested in reading more in-depth stuff on each prospect that might come to the Lightning (remember, we only get one), Brian’s has got a ton of player profiles up on the site, as well as range and pick analysis from experts like himself.

Bob McKenzie’s final draft rankings | PPP Leafs
Bob McKenzie’s final rankings just came out, and it changed quite a lot. Looking at what prospects rose, fell, and what it means for who might be available where Toronto will pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

And as you probably know by now, Bob McKenzie’s draft list is the most accurate to reality list that comes out publicly every year. He does this by polling the people who actually make the picks, and getting the opinions of the people who are going to make the decisions.

Intrigue and excitement in the Year of Connor Bedard at the NHL Draft | TSN
The 2023 NHL Draft is about so much more than just the phenom who will go first overall to the Chicago Blackhawks in Nashville, Bob McKenzie writes. Scouts are very enthused about the depth of this year’s class.

For the Lightning, I would look at anyone from #25 Quentin Musty down to #50 Nick Lardis as players the Lightning might have a chance to draft. The player Bob has at #37 where the Lightning pick is 18-year-old David Edstrom, a 6’3″ center playing in Frolunda’s U20 team in Sweden. He scored 15 goals and 28 points in 28 games in that junior league.

The closest NCAA prospect in that range is the huge (6’3″, 222 lbs) Charlie Stramel, who scored 5 goals and 12 points in 33 NCAA games as a freshman. Also in the American system is USHL goalie Michael Hrabal, who is nearly 6’7″ and had a .907 in 29 games for Omaha. Among defenders right in that range is Tanner Moldendyk out of WHL Saskatoon, who was a top pair defender on Saskatoon’s run to the WHL championship. Brian profiled him below.

2023 NHL Draft Profile: Tanner Molendyk | PPP Leafs
Looking at the brilliant skating two-way defenseman Tanner Molendyk, his potential upside, and if he would make for a good pick for the Maple Leafs at 28th overall.

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