At one time, Brayden Point saw himself fall to the third round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Now? He is one of the top prospects in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.
Brayden Point is a talented 19-year-old center that has shot up Tampa Bay Lightning prospect rankings, and continues to prove the doubters wrong. Standing at 5’10 160 lbs, many teams were afraid to take a chance on the talented Canadian forward due to his size, but as many in the past have proven, size doesn’t always matter.
The Calgary, AB, Canada native started his junior hockey career with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League before the team’s 2011-12 season. He only played five games for the Warriors that season. However, the next year Point had his first break out season scoring 57 points in 67 games. This put Point on the radar of NHL team’s.
The following season was the best of Point’s young career as he scored 91 points in just 72 games. This being his draft year, scouts started paying more attention to the Moose Jaw center as he continued to light up the scoreboard. Point was later chosen to play in the 2014 CHL Top Prospects Game and showed off his skills for NHL teams as they continued to make up their draft plans.
Here is what I thought of Point as I continued to watch him play. This was also highlighted in my Lightning Top 10 Prospects piece.
“Brayden Point is a fantastic hockey player. He is a dynamic puck carrier with the ability to dish out the puck to linemates and create scoring opportunities. Incredible playmaker. Above average wrist shot, vision. Hockey IQ off the charts. Incredible quickness and soft hands around the net. Tiny, but a future scoring star in the pros if he can add strength and can stay away from hard hits at pro level”
However you want to look at it, Brayden Point has all the tools to be a future scoring line forward for the Tampa Bay Lightning. As he has shown in his time in junior with Moose Jaw, international tournaments with Team Canada, and a short stint with the Syracuse Crunch, Point does not let his size hinder him being a fantastic hockey player and he is determined to not let it stop him from playing in the NHL.
Point is expected to be back in Moose Jaw for a fourth year with the team as he is still not old enough to play in the AHL full-time. After this season, he will end up with the Syracuse Crunch as he continues to develop his overall game. Just like Matthew Peca, Adam Erne, and Anthony DeAngelo will all do this upcoming season with Syracuse, Point will infuse offensive skill and excitement into the team.
Though he will not be in a Lightning uniform full-time for a few more years, Brayden Point is one of the most exciting prospects the organization has in its prospects pool. His ability to be a playmaker as well as a scorer at the center position hasn’t been seen at this level since Tyler Johnson was moving through the organization’s minor league system and is now one of the most feared playmakers in the NHL.