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 Lightning’s 2012 development camp came to a close Saturday morning with an energetic 3-on-3 tournament. This year’s camp was a little bit different as there were few AHLers in attendance. There were a lot of new faces, new draft picks, and one young man with family ties in the Bay area.
Vladislav Namestnikov, Slater Koekkoek, Nikita Nesterov, and Cedric Paquette comprised Team Hedman and ended the week as winners of the mini-tournament. It may not have been the Stanley Cup, but Lightning forward Dana Tyrell brought their hardware onto the trophy while wearing white gloves.
The victory came in the shootout, when Koekkoek put the puck through goaltender Pat Nagle’s legs.
“It was an awesome experience. We got off to a slow start on the day, but made it to the final, and it was cool to win it and go out on top. I don’t think I could have asked for a better way to end camp,” Koekkoek said. (Quote Source: Lightning Official Site)
Couldn’t make it to camp? Here’s a few thoughts from what I saw on Saturday.
- Koekkoek was really super intense. REALLY intense. It was kind of scary, but he plays tough and came to win. Can’t argue with that kind of effort. Also, I have nicknamed him Walrus because of the Beatles.
- Cody Bradley didn’t look out of place at all. It was also really neat to see a name on the camp roster with a hometown of Tampa, Florida.
- Nice to see Luke Witkowski back again. He’s been at development camp the last few years and you can really see how his play has improved. He and Koekkoek had some intense battles going on in front of the net.
- JT Brown was just incredibly loose. So smooth when it comes to his playing. He is going to be in the mix for a main roster spot, mark my words.