Tampa Bay Lightning: 50 Greatest Moments In Franchise History

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Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

47. Tampa Bay Lightning Drafts Roman Hamrlik

Date: June 1992

“With the first overall pick of the 1992 NHL draft, the Tampa Bay Lightning select, Roman Hamrlik, defenseman from ZPS Zlin in the Czech Republic.” Those were the words that were said on that faithful day in 1992 when Roman Hamrlik became the first draft pick in Tampa Bay Lightning history.

Hamrlik played in parts of six seasons for the Lightning, scoring 52 goals in his time on the Lightning blue line. From making the jump from European style of play directly to the NHL, Hamrlik struggled early in his NHL like most defenseman do, but quickly used his skill set to adjust to the game and become one of the better offensive-defenseman in the NHL.

During the 1995-96 season, Hamrlik scored 16 goals and 65 points from the blue line. Those numbers would not be heard of again from a Lightning defenseman until the time Dan Boyle would wear a Lightning sweater. However, Boyle will not make this list while Hamrlik comes in at number 17.

‘The Hammer”, known for his physical play on the blue line, is still one of the best defenseman in Tampa Bay Lightning history. The first “powerplay quarterback” in franchise history helped the young Lightning team compete in their inaugural years before he was shipped off to Edmonton to play for the Oilers. To this day, Hamrlik will always be remembered for the offensive game and physical presence he provided for the Lightning blue line in his time in Tampa Bay.

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