The Tampa Bay Lightning hold a total of five picks, including the 27th overall selection in the first round, in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft which gets underway with picks 1-30 on Friday at 7 p.m. Eastern (Versus) from the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Rounds 2-7 will be held on Saturday from 11-2:30 p.m.
Aside from their first-round selection, the Lightning also hold their picks in the second (58th overall), fifth (148th), sixth (178th) and seventh (208th) rounds. Their third-round pick was traded to St. Louis when they acquired defenseman Eric Brewer. The Lightning’s pick in the fourth round was sent to Philadelphia last summer in exchange for Simon Gagne.
The Lightning have never picked 27th in franchise history. Tampa Bay has made five picks or fewer just once in franchise history, when they made four picks in 2006. The Bolts made six selections in 1996.
The 2011 NHL Entry Draft will be the second-ever held in the state of Minnesota and the first at Xcel Energy Center. The 1989 NHL Entry Draft took place at the Met Center in Bloomington. Minnesota has played host to other NHL signature events including the 1981 and 1991 Stanley Cup Finals, the 1972 and 2004 NHL All-Star Games and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. The Xcel Energy Center has also hosted the 2002 and 2011 NCAA Frozen Four and is home to the WCHA Final Five Tournament and the Minnesota State Boys’ and Girls’ High School Hockey Tournaments.