While the Stanley Cup playoffs are just around the corner, a few Lightning prospects have already started their respective playoffs in the Canadian Hockey League. As teams continue their march toward league finals and, ultimately the Memorial Cup, here are some future Bolts to keep an eye out for:
Anthony DeAngelo – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Anthony DeAngelo and the Greyhounds cruised through the first round of the playoffs after putting together a strong regular season that saw them finish first in the Ontario Hockey League. DeAngelo had another impressive season, leading all defensemen in the OHL with 89 points (25G-64A) in 55 points. His offensive domination has continued in the playoffs as he racked up seven points during the Greyhounds four-game sweep of the Saginaw Spirit. The Greyhound will now take on Ryan Callahan’s OHL alma-mater, the Guelph Storm, in the Western Conference semi-finals.
Adam Erne led the way with two goals in game seven as the Remparts defeated the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in their opening round matchup of the Québec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs. Québec will now face off against the Charlottetown Islanders in the second round. Erne posted career offensive numbers, 41 goals and 86 points in 60 games, to help lead the Remparts to a fourth-place finish in the regular season standings. Through the first seven games of the post season, Erne has six goals and eight points. With Québec City serving as the host for the 2015 Memorial Cup tournament, the Remparts will be guaranteed a spot.
Ben Thomas – Calgary Hitmen
After finishing atop the Central Division and placing second in the Eastern Conference, the Hitmen, with defenseman Ben Thomas, needed seven games to dispose of the Kootenay Ice. With a decisive 6-2 win on Monday night, Calgary will now face off against the Medicine Hat Tigers in the second round of the WHL playoffs. Thomas quietly tied his career highs for both goals (seven) and points (31) in only 60 games, 12 fewer than the previous season. In Calgary’s first seven games, he has chipped in with three helpers while anchoring the team’s defense.