PROSPECTS FROM 2004 AND 2005 DRAFTS WILL PLAY FOR TWO COUNTRIES
The Tampa Bay Lightning will have four prospects playing in the IIHF World Junior Championships which begin tonight in Vancouver, British Columbia when Team Canada opens against Team Finland at 7 p.m.
Lightning goaltending prospect Karri Ramo will be representing Finland. Defenseman Vladimir Mihalik, left wing Stanislav Lascek and right wing Marek Bartanus will skate for Team Slovakia.
Ramo, 19, was selected by the Lightning in the sixth round, 191st overall, at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. The Asikkala, Finland native has posted a 1-3-4 record this season with a 1.77 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage with HPK of the Finnish Elite League.
The Lightning's first round pick, 30th overall, at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Vladimir Mihalik, 18, was invited to training camp with the Lightning in 2005 prior to being assigned to Red Deer of the Western Hockey League. The Presov, Slovakia native has skated in 33 games with the Rebels in his North American debut this season and has scored three goals and added six assists with 49 penalty minutes.
Lascek, 19, is currently in his third season with Chicoutimi of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Tampa Bay's fifth round selection, 133rd overall, currently leads the QMJHL in points with 78 and in assists with 53 in 35 games played this season. He is also tied for seventh in the league with three shorthanded goals.
Bartanus, 18, was chosen by Tampa Bay in the fourth round, 92nd overall, at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. The native of Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia has skated in 31 games with the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL this season, scoring one goal with three assists.