– The Tampa Bay Lightning made seven selections today at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft at the Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario. Tampa Bay selected Steven Stamkos
with the first overall pick on Friday night.
The Lightning began Saturday by trading the 62nd overall pick in the third round to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for the 117th and 147th overall picks in 2008 and San Jose’s third-round pick in 2009.
Tampa Bay used the 117th overall pick in the fourth round to select center James Wright
from the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League, the 35th-ranked North American skater. A 6-foot-3, 175-pound native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Wright recorded 13 goals and 36 points in 60 games with the Giants last season. He finished seventh on the team in goals. He participated in the 2008 CHL Top Prospects Game and won the 2007 Memorial Cup with Vancouver. Wright has played in 110 career WHL games, all with Vancouver, and netted 18 goals with 48 points. He has also played in 20 career postseason games with four goals and five points.
The Lightning used the 122nd overall pick in the fifth-round to select Dustin Tokarski, the ninth-ranked North American goaltender, from the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL. Tokarski, a 5-11, 185-pound native of Watson, Saskatchewan, is fresh off the 2008 Memorial Cup Championship where he was named the MVP after posting a 4-0 record with a 1.72 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage. He led all goaltenders in the WHL playoffs with a .944 save percentage, 1.78 goals-against average and three shutouts in 21 games. Tokarski played in 40 games during the regular season, posting a 30-10-3 record with a 2.05 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. He ranked third in the WHL and set a Spokane franchise record in lowest goals-against average. He has posted a 43-21-5 record and a 2.64 goals-against average in 70 career WHL games.
With the 147th overall pick in the fifth-round the Lightning selected right wing Kyle DeCoste from the Brampton Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-1, 178-pound native of London, Ontario scored 10 goals and recorded 22 points in 66 games played for Brampton last season. He also played in five playoff games. DeCoste is a veteran of 111 career OHL games and recorded 11 goals and 26 points while also playing in eight postseason games.
Tampa Bay selected defenseman Mark Baberio from Moncton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the 152nd overall pick in the sixth round. Baberio, a 6-0, 201-pound native of Montreal, Quebec, has played in 130 career QMJHL games with Moncton and Cape Breton. He has recorded 14 goals and 63 points in two seasons. He also played in seven playoff games with Moncton in 2006-07. Baberio played in 70 games with Moncton last season and netted 11 goals with 46 points.
With the 160th overall pick in the sixth round the Lightning selected defenseman Luke Witkowski
from the Ohio Junior Blue Jackets of the USHL. Witkowski, a 6-2, 180-pound native of Holland, Michigan, played in 58 games in 2007-08 and recorded three goals with 13 points and 139 penalty minutes. He is committed to Western Michigan University.
With their first pick in the seventh-round, 182nd overall, the Lightning selected Finnish right wing Matias Sointu from Ilves Jr. He played in 41 games with Ilves last season and scored 21 goals with 40 points. During the past two seasons he has totaled 43 goals and 70 points in 75 games played.
The Lightning selected defenseman David Carle from Shattuck-St. Mary’s with their final pick of the draft, 203rd overall. Carle, the brother of San Jose Sharks player Matt Carle, helped lead Shattuck-St. Mary’s to its second straight USA Hockey Under-18 Tier I title in 2008 with a goal and an assist in the championship game. The Anchorage, Alaska native played in 55 games during the regular season and scored 10 goals with 45 points. In two seasons at Shattuck-St. Mary’s Carle played in 116 games and scored 14 goals with 58 points.