Tampa Bay Lightning: 50 Greatest Moments In Franchise History

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Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

11. Tampa Bay Lightning Draft Steven Stamkos

Date: June 20, 2008

For all of the draft picks in Tampa Bay Lightning history, this ranks toward the top of the list in terms of most important. The selection of Steven Stamkos with the first overall draft pick of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft has helped turn around a franchise that experienced many dark years before his time.

Stamkos was one of the most dominant players in Canadian Junior since the first day he stepped onto the ice. He would spend his junior hockey career playing for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League, a team that could catapult up the playoff standings after the arrival of Stamkos. In his rookie season, he recorded 92 points (42 goals and 50 assists) and was named to the OHL’s second-team. His next season, he upped his production to 105 points and was selected to the Canadian Hockey League’s first-team during his draft year.

Stamkos was named the top draft prospect by many scouting agencies around North America and was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning with the top selection of the 2008 draft. From the day he was selected, whether it was the “Seen Stamkos” slogan seen around town or the excitement from fans knowing that the Lightning may have just selected a future great, Lightning fever spread around town. Stamkos would not disappoint.

So far in his 527 NHL games as a Lightning player, Stamkos has racked up an impressive 543 points (290 goals and 233 assists) and has established himself as one of the most feared offensive players in the game. Now the Lightning captain, Stamkos continues to lead the organization on and off the ice as the team is now one of the most feared groups in the league under his leadership.

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