The Tampa Bay Lightning will display some of their best young talent from September 9-12 at the 2017 Prospect Tournament in Estero, Florida.
The off-season is one of the hardest times of the year for Tampa Bay Lightning fans. The team they love so dearly has gone their separate ways for some much-needed rest and relaxation, and the seats at the Amalie Arena, which were once filled with screaming fans, have now gone silent.
The only good news here is there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Eventually, the players will make their way back to the Sunshine State, and the process with restart itself once again as the players hit the ice in the spirit of competition. The even better news is, this moment is quickly approaching.
On September 9, the Tampa Bay Lightning will make their way to the Germain Arena in Estero, Florida, to take place in their annual Prospect Tournament. This is the point in the season where fans have an opportunity to see some of the team’s brightest young talent out on the ice and get a better idea of the future of the franchise.
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On Saturday, September 9, the Lightning will do battle with the Predators. The next day, the Bolts will take the ice to take on the Washington Capitals. On Tuesday, September 12, the final day of competition, the Lightning prospects will face the Florida Panthers.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced, via a Press Release on their official site, the names of the players who would be lacing up their skates and taking the ice to represent the Bolts in the tournament. Needless to say, there are a lot of familiar names in the list as well as some of the newest names to join the Lightning organization.
Here is a look at the players who will be representing the Tampa Bay Lightning at the tournament.
|Anthony Cirelli||2015 NHL Draft (3rd Round)||Oshawa Generals (OHL)|
|Shane Conacher||Invitee||Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL)|
|Kevin Hancock||Invitee||Owen Sound Attack (OHL)|
|Brett Howden||2016 NHL Draft (1st Round)||Moosejaw Warriors (WHL)|
Syracuse Crunch (AHL)
Peterborough Petes (OHL)
Neva St. Petersburg (Russia-2)
Syracuse Crunch (AHL)
|Erik Cernak||Trade with Los Angeles Kings||Erie Otters (OHL)|
|Callan Foote||2017 NHL Draft (1st Round)||Kelowna Rockets (WHL)|
|Libor Hajek||2016 NHL Draft (2nd Round)||Saskatoon Blades (WHL)|
Syracuse Crunch (AHL)
Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
Yaroslavl Jr. (NMHL)
|Connor Ingram||2016 NHL Draft (3rd Round)||Kamloops Blazers (WHL)|
|Joseph Raaymakers||Invitee||Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)|
As you can see from the list above, a number of these prospects had the opportunity to play with the Tampa Bay Lightning’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, last season. Players like forward Brett Howden and Dennis Yan, and defenseman Dominik Masin and Ben Thomas all had the opportunity to compete at the AHL level.
While this tournament is definitely meant to be an exciting and fun time, it is also an integral part of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s overall development. As in every professional sport, players come and players go. When players go, there is a desperate need to fill the void. If a team has a strong developmental system, the transition is very smooth.
Thankfully, this has been a specialty of Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman. The Lightning has one of the best developmental systems in the National Hockey League and judging by the level of talent coming up the pipeline, the future of the Tampa Bay Lightning looks very bright.
If you would like more information on the tournament, or more in-depth information on the players themselves, you can feel free to check out the Press Release on the Tampa Bay Lightning’s official site. If there is one thing we can tell you for certain, it’s we can’t wait to see how these talented young players fare against their opponents.