Quick Strikes: Kucherov’s three-point night powers Russia to victory

Kucherov snipes a beautiful goal, the Tampa Bay Lightning sign Taylor Raddysh to an ELC, and another prospect profile.

The Bolts

Scouting the 2017 NHL draft: Please don’t pick Michael Rasmussen 14th overall. “In our continuing look at players who might be available with the 14th overall pick, we examine why the Tampa Bay Lightning probably shouldn’t pick Michael Rasmussen.” [Raw Charge]

It's your turn to decide the best play of the 2016-17 Lightning season. “Every couple of days, we'll unveil a new matchup pitting one great Lightning highlight against another. Vote for the one you like best, and the play receiving the most fan votes will move on to the next round.” Voting for the current matchup starts at noon today and ends at noon on Friday. [Tampa Bay Lightning]

Here are the winners from the first round of Best of the Bolts.

The Worlds

With ten members of the Tampa Bay Lightning participating across four teams at the IIHF World Championship, we'll be keeping a close eye on Canada (Jon Cooper, Alex Killorn, and Brayden Point), Russia (Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and prospect Nikita Gusev), Sweden (Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman), and Switzerland (Tanner Richard).

Canada defeats Norway 5-0.

Point and Killorn were both held off the score sheet as the Canadian team bounced back from a surprising loss to Switzerland to clinch the top spot in Group B. Killorn has yet to score at Worlds.

“You're sitting here thinking, ‘We've had a hard time scoring goals against the Swiss and the French’ and here now, we're getting our chances but they're still not going in or they're not counting,” Cooper said after the game. “But we felt we were on top of our game and that it was just a matter of time. Thank goodness the power play was rolling.” [TSN]

Russia defeats Latvia 5-0.

Namestnikov scored a goal, Gusev picked up an assist, and Kucherov had a three-point night (1G, 2A) to power Russia into first place in Group A. With Russia already guaranteed to advance to the next round, the coaching staff elected to give Vasilevskiy the night off to rest and prepare for elimination games.

As always, the Russian Ice Hockey Federation delivers beautiful photos from the game.

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch fell 2-1 to the Toronto Marlies. The series is tied 3-3. Game 7 will be in Syracuse. [Raw Charge]

The Tampa Bay Lightning signed Taylor Raddysh to an entry level contract yesterday. “Drafted in the second round of the 2016 draft, Raddysh joins the Lightning on the heels of a 109 point season, and he’ll be heading back to the OHL next year with the opportunity to be a mainstay on the Otters top line as they defend their title.” [Raw Charge]

What a week! So proud to have signed my first contract with @tblightning! Thanks to everyone for the support! #gobolts

A post shared by Taylor raddysh (@taylorraddysh) on

“This could be a precursor to another Raddysh signing as Taylor's brother, Darren, is a free agent overage defenseman for the Otters. As a righty puckmover capable of quarterbacking a power play, he fits a need in the Lightning system and Tampa Bay has an obvious ‘in’ with him being part of the family already. Darren could play in the AHL next season if signed.” [Bolt Prospects]

The Game

Bobby Ryan believes the Senators have what it takes to win the Stanley Cup. “This has been a fun ride so far, but I think this team still has a lot left in the tank. This is the moment we’ve been preparing for all year, and now that it’s here, we feel ready. I mean, why not us? Why not now?” [The Players’ Tribune]

“The IIHF released this pretty cool interview with Wayne Simmonds and Mark Scheifele using a 360-degree camera in the Canadian locker room. The actual meat of the interview isn’t really that interesting, aside from one little thing that you have to look closely to notice: The IIHF is trolling the hell out of the NHL here.” [Broad Street Hockey]

According to Ben Bishop, the Vegas Golden Knights were never truly interested in signing him. “From what I understood, I didn’t think it was an option. Obviously I’m not sure what they’re going to do, but from what I heard they were kind of thinking maybe younger and in a different direction.” [FanRag Sports]

Feel good moment of the day: France makes sure to give goalie Cristobal Huet a proper send-off. After playing for the French team at the international level for 20 years, Huet is hanging up his skates.