The weekly Prospect Spotlight feature returns for the 2016-17 season on TampaBayLightning.com. Each week fans will be able to catch up on how their favorite prospects are performing and progressing throughout the season.
Mathieu Joseph continues to show why the Lightning picked him in the fourth round of the 2015 NHL Draft.
The 19-year-old has scored 13 goals through 15 games this season for the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
"He has a very good hockey sense. He's very competitive," Saint John coach Danny Flynn said when asked about Joseph's play.
Joseph's production has steadily grown during his time with the Sea Dogs, as his point totals have increased each year. After scoring 21 goals in his sophomore season, Joseph responded with a 33-goal campaign last year.
Joseph ranks second on the Sea Dogs in scoring with 21 points after scoring in the Sea Dogs 6-1 win over Cape Breton on Tuesday night.
"He's made steady progress since I arrived here last season," Flynn said. "He's a legit National Hockey League prospect."
While the Sea Dogs have seen Joseph's goal scoring numbers continue to rise, Flynn praises the versatility of the growing winger.
"He's developed nicely into an offensive player but, for a young player, he plays very well away from the puck," Flynn said. "He plays all the important minutes for this team. He's one of our top penalty killers as well."
Joseph is currently tied for the league lead in shorthanded goals with two and he finished second in the QMJHL last season with six. He also finished second in scoring for the Sea Dogs last year with 73 points, just two shy of the team lead.
Flynn described Joseph as a player with "really good skill, really good instincts, and a real high compete level."
These attributes showed themselves early in the season when Joseph collected eight points in his first three games, including a hat trick against the Gatineau Olympiques. Joseph hasn't shown many signs of slowing down as he's collected at least one point in nine of the team's 12 games to start the year and was one of 12 forwards selected to represent the QMJHL in the 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series.
"The two most important qualities for players to play in the National Hockey League are a high hockey sense and a high compete level," Flynn said. "He has both of those things. In my opinion, for Tampa Bay, that was a steal of a pick."