How do you think you’d measure up against Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos?
This week 16-year-old Connor McDavid got a chance to answer that very question.
After a last minute cancellation the Newmarket, Ontario native was given the opportunity to skate with a group of nearly 50 professionals including, Stamkos, as part of the BioSteel Pro Hockey Camp.
McDavid, who’s been humbled by the experience thus far, got to follow in the footsteps of Stamkos, literally.
In a group directly behind the group the 23-year-old Tampa Bay superstar was in, McDavid said that he’d find record-setting weights in such stations as the trap bar or dead lift every time.
And who knows, maybe it isn’t such a bad thing being sized up with athletes like Stamkos?
During his first year with the OHL’s Erie Otters, McDavid scored 66 points in 63 games, has the possibility to be just the sixth 16-year-old to play for Canada after getting an invite to the world junior camp this summer and is just the third player in OHL history to be granted “exceptional player status” last year to allow him to play major junior hockey at age 15.
Could McDavid be the one of the next big things to hit the National Hockey League?
THE BIG SIX
As the offseason slowly comes to a close, there are still a lot of questions fans are dying to see answered.
This article by NHL.com’s staff writer Mike G. Morreale is a collection of the highest priorities on Tampa Bay’s to-do list.
Former Bolt Vincent Lecavalier is a hot topic in the piece as Morreale asks not only, “how will the Lightning overcome the loss of Lecavalier?” He also dives into another important topic, “who will replace Lecavalier as captain?”
While incite is given around the team’s defense and goaltending, two areas Morreale feels are the biggest area for improvement, question six brings the Q & A full circle to what it’s all really about, making the playoffs.
This article does its justice in offering insight into a team that is going through somewhat of a facelift, but fans must continue to wait to see what really happens in a season that’s not too far away.
STORM SHOUT OUT
The Lightning share their roof with the Arena Football League’s Tampa Bay Storm here at the Tampa Bay Times Forum and earlier this week, Storm cheerleader Stephanie was featured on Sports Illustrated’s website as part of the AFL’s Dream Team Dancers.
You can see Stephanie and the rest of the Dream Team here.
You can also take a look at the entire 2013 Storm cheerleading squad here.
CREAM OF THE CROP
After a relatively quiet offseason the Lightning are expected to make a call to the farm for support in 2013-14.
Last season Alex Killorn, Radko Gudas, Mark Barberio, Richard Panik and Tyler Johnson all raised eyebrows during their stint with the big club, but there’s a few fresh faces to add to that list now.
Wednesday NHL.com rated Tampa Bay’s Top 10 prospects as part of their “30 in 30” feature and third overall draft pick by the Bolts in this year’s draft, Jonathan Drouin, found himself atop the list.
While skill-wise he’s NHL ready, staff writer Morreale believes he’ll need to add some bulk to his 5-foot-11, 186-pound frame in order to compete with the elite.
Other honorable mentions on Morreale’s list included netminder Andrey Vasilevskiy and right-winger Nikita Kucherov, who rounded out the top three.
I’m eager to see which of the Top 10 will be wearing a blue and white sweater at some point next season. To see Lightning prospects No. 1-10 click here.