These are the eight Tampa Bay Lightning prospects worth getting excited about.
After many years of regular season success followed by Stanley Cup Playoff disappointment, the Tampa Bay Lightning were finally able to put it all together and win their first Stanley Cup since 2004. They possess what many currently view as the most dominant roster in the entire NHL, and will be heavy favorites yet again for the 2020-21 NHL season.
Of course, having a team that has had as much regular season success as they have for a number of years means that the Lightning are getting lower end picks at Drafts and, as a result, do not have nearly as deep of a prospect pool as other teams around the league.
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They have also traded some of their prospects and picks over the years for players who would immediately benefit their NHL lineup. Still, while their prospect pipeline is one of the weaker ones throughout the league, Lightning fans aren’t worried as they have a team that should continue being one of the best in the NHL for a number of seasons to come.
As mentioned in every other Top 8 Prospects articles throughout this series, any player who has played in more NHL games than any other league in a season, regardless of the season, will not be included.
With that being said, here are the Top 8 Prospects in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.
8. Maxim Cajkovic
The first player to appear on this list is forward Maxim Cajkovic, who the Tampa Bay Lightning selected in the Third Round (No.89 overall) of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. At the time he was drafted, he had just wrapped up his rookie season in the QMJHL with the Saint John Sea Dogs in which he had 22 goals and 46 points in 60 games. He followed that up with a 18 goal, 42 point performance despite playing in a much lower 36 contests.
Last year, Lightning fans were able to tune in and watch Cajkovic at the World Juniors as he represented Team Slovakia. He was a lock to make the team again this year, but was surprisingly removed from the team’s roster for disciplinary reasons following dirty hits during team scrimmages.
This is obviously very alarming and sets off plenty of red flags for the recently turned 20-year-old prospect, but there is no denying his talent. If Cajikovic is able to mature and move past this, he has a chance to turn into an NHLer in the future.
7. Samuel Walker
The only college player appearing on this list is forward Samuel Walker. The 21-year-old appears to be a nice find by the Bolts, as he was taken in the Seventh Round (No.200 overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
The American born forward has recently begun his third season with the University of Minnesota, and will look to build off of his 11 goals and 30 points in 39 contests last season.
Those totals may not jump off the page, but they were good enough to lead his team in scoring, which is very impressive for a player who was just 20-years-old for the entirety of the season. Almost equally impressive was that he was able to post 26 points the year prior at the age of 19.
Size is a slight concern for Walker, as he is listed at just five-foot-ten, 179 pounds. However, he has been able to produce at every level to this point in his career. General manager Julien BriseBois will have to do his best to get Walker signed to an Entry-Level Contract this year.