Tampa Bay Lightning: Top 10 Draft Picks In Franchise History

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A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2016 NHL Draft approaches later this month, let’s take a look back some of the top draft picks the Tampa Bay Lightning has selected over the years.

Since its inception in 1992, the Tampa Bay Lightning has had some success and some failure and many of the ups and downs the team has experienced over the years is interwoven into the fabric of this relatively young franchise.

There have been various draft picks taken by the Lightning that are direct results of those ups and downs, including a franchise-worst 55 loss season in 1997-98, when it was granted the number one overall pick. You can probably guess who was taken with that pick: that’s right, Vincent Lecavalier.

Among the many draft picks taken by the Tampa Bay Lightning since 1992, there are 10 that stand out the most and these players have become synonymous with the franchise in one way or another. To crack the top 10, though, there are a few standards that must be met in order to be considered for this list.

  • A player must have been drafted directly by the Lightning, so, unfortunately, that leaves out players like Martin St. Louis and Tyler Johnson, both of which went undrafted
  • Must have been with the organization for at least a full season (playing in the AHL does not count)
  • Draft picks taken during the 2014 and 2015 drafts will not be considered since they’re too recent
  • Players taken during the 1992 Expansion Draft will not be included on this list
  • The round in which a player was taken did not affect where he got placed

Aside from the general criteria displayed above, a player must have made a significant contribution to the Lightning during his tenure here or for players currently on the team, must have already made a noticeable impact while on the roster and shown important value to the organization as a centerpiece for the future.

Players who have won MVP awards or scoring titles with the Lightning will be considered differently than those who haven’t. We are looking at players who have made a name for themselves and impacted the organization in a positive manner.

Though this list is a matter of opinion and the order of these players can be argued, there are various factors that went into deciding who would make the top 10, including time with the team, key statistics, and lasting impact on the organization, which is subjective, of course.

We hope you enjoy these choices and feel free to make your own top 10 if you disagree with this list. In any matter, here are the top 10 draft picks in Tampa Bay Lightning history. Let’s get to it.

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