Junior hockey fans on Twitter are all…a-flutter over a tweet from Barrie Colts beat writer Gene Pereira: Lightning prospect Slater Koekkoek has requested a trade from the Peterborough Petes. Pereira also says that Alan Quine (Red Wings) and Nick Ritchie (not yet draft eligible) have requested trades as well. Petes Insider also tweeted this rumor. Even if this proves to be untrue (of course there will be denials), it is easy to believe given that Peterborough is dead last in the OHL with a record of 8-23-3-1 through 35 games. » Continue reading “Rumor Mill: Slater Koekkoek Requests Trade From Peterborough”
While doing a little research on the 2013 draft class I came across Nikita Zadorov. The 17 year old Russian-born defenseman is playing his first North American season for the London Knights of the OHL. Despite not being a legal adult in the eyes of many countries, Zadorov clocks in at 6′ 5″ and 229 lbs. Many pundits see Zadorov’s stock rising and Brendan of Dobber Prospects sees him as a top 10 talent that could be the first OHL defenseman taken in 2013. If the Tampa Bay ends up in a similar draft position (10th overall or so), could Zadorov be on their radar? » Continue reading “Le Cinq Nikitas: A Lockout-Induced Thought”
The Russian Factor. It has become a part of the drafting lexicon in the NHL, used to explain why a talented player isn’t drafted as soon as they should be. This didn’t scare Steve Yzerman in 2011, though, when he used the Lightning’s 58th overall pick to select Nikita Kucherov. The 19 year old has drawn comparisons to Marian Hossa and was touted as a 1st round talent if not for his heritage. The risky draft pick seemed like a coup when Kucherov joined the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL. He was in North America, he’d get acclimated to the style of play, and he’d become a force for the Lightning in future years. Perhaps that was wishful thinking. » Continue reading “Nikita Kucherov Hits the Trade Block, Future in North America Uncertain”
After stunning the room with their first round draft picks last night, the Lightning went to work today. It was announced that Tampa has acquired forward Benoit Pouliot from the Boston Bruins in exchange for Michel Ouellet and their 5th round pick. Pouliot is scheduled to become a restricted free agent on July 1st , so the deal isn’t done quite yet.
In 74 games with the Bruins, Pouliot had 16 goals, 32 points, and 38 penalty minutes. He was also 3rd on the team in game winning goals and had a +16 rating. He also had a goal and 2 points in 6 playoff games for Boston.
Steve Yzerman had six remaining draft picks at his disposal even with the transaction. Tampa had the 40th selection in the second round and took Dylan Blujus from the Brampton Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League. with the 53rd overall pick, they selected forward Brian Hart from Phillips-Exeter High School.
In the third round, it was forward Tanner Richard of the Guelph Storm of the OHL. The fourth round saw the selection of forward Cedric Paquette of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Defenseman Jake Dotchin from the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL went in the fifth, and with their final pick it was forward Nikita Gusev of the CSKA Moscow in the KHL.
We’ll definitely learn more about these kids as information rolls in and will pass it along.
Now that the Stanley Cup has been awarded, the offseason happenings can begin for the rest of us. The first round of the 2012 NHL Draft took place in Pittsburgh this evening. The Lightning went into the evening in a great position, holding two picks in the top 20. There were a lot of rumblings about Steve Yzerman trading away the 19th pick as part of a trade package, but he ended up using both of them in shocking fashion.
When Tampa’s pick came around at the number 10 spot, Stevie Y pretty much shocked the room by taking defenseman Slater Koekkoek out of the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League. Koekkoek played 26 games last season recording 5 goals, 18 points, and 17 penalty minutes. He missed the rest of the season due to a torn labrum.