And he got another 2 points today. I thought he would be good having that NHL experience over the rest of them, but I didn't expect him to lead the team in points. I thought that role would come from someone with a little more skill and talent like Ashton, Tyrell, Panik, Hutchings, or Connolly.
Originally Posted by Kusic
It seems to me that we have a very weak defense. In every game is a lot of shots on our goal.
They are pretty inexperienced. None of them have played past junior, or are right out of their draft year. At least some of our forwards and goailes have AHL and NHL experience.
Tampa Bay Lightning (2-1-1) -- The Lightning might have finished fourth, but they scored the tournament's most memorable victory in round-robin play -- a 4-3, 16-round shootout victory against the Red Wings. Memorable not only because of the high drama in the end, but because it marked the first time Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman was matched against his former employer.
"The history of the Lightning in this tournament hasn't been a great one in the win-loss department," said Jon Cooper, coach of the Lightning's AHL affiliate in Norfolk who also headed the prospect team. "I know it's not all about wins and loses -- it's about getting to know your prospects. But let's be honest, we had it in us to get that one for Steve Yzerman. Even though no one would admit it publicly, we were really pulling for that one and I thought the guys played really hard. That's one of the things I really liked about this team -- everyone was really receptive to ideas and we performed well. It might have taken 32 shooters to finally end the thing, but I'm glad we were on the happy end."
Starring on offense for the Lightning prospects were James Wright (3 goals, 6 points, plus-4), 2010 first-round (No. 6) draft choice Brett Connolly (2 goals, 4 points, plus-1) and 2009 first-round selection (No. 29) Carter Ashton (1 goal, 2 points). Dana Tyrell (1 goal, 2 points), a 2007 second-round pick (No. 47), also produced.
"Brett has tremendous skill and good size (6-foot-2, 181 pounds), but needs to put a little more beef on his body and get a little stronger," said Steve Thomas, Tampa Bay's player development consultant. "The next level is very different from the junior level he's playing right now. He's going to be an NHL player, he's got that ability. He doesn't get too high or too low; he just goes out there and does his job."
Defensively, Brock Beukeboom, the son of four-time Stanley Cup winning defenseman Jeff Beukeboom, was steady. "For an 18-year-old, Brock makes some mistakes out there, but he has great poise and keeps his game really simple," Thomas said. "He keeps everything in front and has a good first pass. He's a stay-at-home type, make-no-mistake kind of defenseman."
Both goalies played admirably in the tournament -- Jaroslav Janus stopped 40 shots in regulation and overtime and turned away 14 of 16 shooters in the shootout victory against Detroit. Janus split time between Norfolk and the OHL's Erie Otters last season. He finished 1-0-1 with a 3.27 GAA and .909 save percentage in Traverse City.
Hynes is a very good junior player. Right now, there's no way he's going to make it to the NHL. He's a shooter who runs hot and cold, who's not overly fast for his stature... BUT... but he's improved A LOT from year 1 to year 2. He gets involved more and more in the game and now that he's not a kid in the Q anymore, he could have a dominant year and score 50. There's still a chance for him to get to the NHL but he will have to keep improving as much as he has in the last 2 years. I'm a huge fan of Hynes in Victoriaville but the truth remains that so far, he's more of a junior star than a future NHLer. Could surprise many people in the next 2 years.
Keller was not given a qualifying contract from the Lightning last offseason, making him an unrestricted free agent. Oddly enough, Norfolk signed him midway through last season, but as far as I know he wasn't retained.