Tampa Bay Lightning: 30 Best Draft Picks In Franchise History

25 of 31

Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

7. Roman Hamrlik

Draft Year: 1992

Position: Defense

The Tampa Bay Lightning finally came to be an official member of the National Hockey League all the way back in 1992. While there has been many players come down the tunnel and take the ice with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 23 years that have come to pass since the team’s inception, there is one name that still resounds with Tampa Bay Lightning fans everywhere, Roman Hamrlik.

Drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the First Round (1st Overall) in the 1992 National Hockey League Entry Draft, Roman Hamrlik was one of the first players to ever take the ice in a Tampa Bay Lightning sweater. Needless to say, the current incantation of the Tampa Bay Lightning could definitely use someone like Hamrlik in the Lightning lineup.

One area where Hamrlik seemed to shine the most is on the Power Play. As each game passed, it become crystal clear he would be what people in the hockey world refer to as the “Power Play Quarterback” of the team.

If we had to compare Roman Hamrlik to anyone on the current Tampa Bay Lightning roster, we would have to say he reminds us a lot of Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman. In addition to being incredibly hard to play against defensively, Hamrlik was a very offensively minded defenseman. It’s always nice to have someone in your arsenal who can lay down some hard hits and knock his opponent off the puck, but can also score goals and make plays happen at the same time.

In his first two seasons with the Lightning, Hamrlik would be pretty consistent with his scoring, ending each season with a total of 21 points. It wasn’t until his third official season with the team when things would really kick into high gear on the scoreboard for the then-20 year old defenseman. In the 1994-95 season, Hamrlik would play in just 48 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning. In that amount of time, Hamrlik would be able to register 12 goals and 11 assists for a total of 33 points.

The 1995-96 season would prove to be his best season of all time. In this season, Hamrlik would play in a full 82 games with the Lightning, scoring a career high in all manners of scoring with 16 goals and 49 assists for a grand total of 65 points.

Unfortunately, Hamrlik would be with the Tampa Bay Lightning for another season and a half before the Tampa Bay Lightning organization would elect to trade the young Czech defenseman to the Edmonton Oilers.

Roman Hamrlik would spend another 13 seasons in the National Hockey League, playing on many different teams like the New York Islanders, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, and Washington Capitals before ending his career as a member of the New York Rangers; however, it would be his time here in the Bolts Nation that would truly define Hamrlik’s career.

Next: Kuby Helps The Bolts Reach New Heights