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Lightning prospects making their mark

Kinsey Janke takes a look around Tampa Bay's prospect pipeline, highlighting key up-and-comers with the organization.

by Kinsey Janke /

With an emphasis on drafting and developing, the Tampa Bay Lightning have created one of the strongest pipelines in the National Hockey League over the last few years. Each week, will provide statistical updates on key prospects throughout the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) and the National Collegiate Athletic Associaton (NCAA), and will highlight select players from the club's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch.


Ontario Hockey League (OHL)

C Anthony Cirelli, Oshawa Generals

Drafted 72nd overall (3rd Round) in 2015

As newly-minted captain of the Gens, the 19-year-old Cirelli paces his club with 25 points (11G-14A) through 17 games in the 2016-17 season. He is in his third year with the club, having spent three games in Syracuse at the end of the 2015-16 season, and is currently part of the leadership group for Team OHL at the 2016 Canada Russia Series where he has recorded one goal through one game. Cirelli was named First Star in Oshawa's 4-2 win over Sudbury on Sunday, recording the game-winning goal and an assist.

LW Boris Katchouk, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Drafted 44th overall (2nd Round) in 2016

New to the Bolts, Katchouk currently sits fifth in scoring for the Soo in his third season with the OHL club. His 13 points in 18 games (6G-7A) is punctuated by two multi-point games so far this season, while his 61 shots on net is second only to the Greyhounds' leading scorer, fellow winger Bobby MacIntyre. The 18-year-old was also named to Team OHL at the Canada Russia Series, though he did not participate in the tournament due to injury.

C Christopher Paquette, Niagara IceDogs

Drafted 148th overall (5th Round) in 2016

Cousin of Lightning forward Cedric Paquette, the 2016 draftee is in his third OHL season with the IceDogs. His 16 points in 18 games is good for second on the roster, and he leads the club in goals (10) and shots on goal (72). Paquette, 18, has registered five multi-point games thus far this season, including three two-goal games.

RW Taylor Raddysh, Erie Otters

Drafted 58th overall (2nd Round) in 2016

The 18-year-old has gotten off to a fiery start in his third full season with Erie, leading all OHL skaters in points (45), assists (27), and plus-minus (+31). His 18 goals are just one shy of the league leader, Otter teammate Alex DeBrincat. He has recorded a point in every game this season except one, beginning the season on a 17-game point streak that saw 13 multi-point games, including four four-point games. Raddysh was added to Team OHL's second group, set to play Game 4 of the Canada Russia Series tonight.

D Matt Spencer, Peterborough Petes

Drafted 44th overall (2nd Round) in 2015

One of three Lightning prospects in the Team OHL leadership group for the Canada Russia Series, Spencer made his pro debut with the Syracuse Crunch last season and currently has six points through 12 games with the Petes. In his fourth season with the club, he serves as the alternate captain for all Peterborough home games.

C Mitchell Stephens, Saginaw Spirit

Drafted 33rd overall (2nd Round) in 2015

A captain for both his Spirit and Team OHL, Stephens is playing at a point-per-game pace in 2016-17 with six points in his last five games. He has stayed off the scoresheet thus far for Team OHL, but is riding a three-game point streak for Saginaw and his six points in his last five games for the club. With a goal and an assist on Friday's contest vs. Sault Ste. Marie, the 19-year-old was named First Star. His three shorthanded goals pace the entire OHL.

RW Jonne Tammela, Peterborough Petes

Drafted 118th overall (4th Round) in 2015

Tammela spent his first two pro seasons with KalPa of Finland's Liiga, making his North American debut with the Crunch last season and recording one assist through three games in Syracuse. Stepping into North American juniors this season, the Finn has one goal in two games for the Petes. Tammela had 17 points in 69 games with KalPa.

Western Hockey League (WHL)

D Libor Hajek, Saskatoon Blades

Drafted 37th overall (2nd Round) in 2016

Hajek enters his second full season with the Blades this year, and has nine assists through 19 games for third in team defensemen scoring. He played one year in the Czech league before being drafted by the Lightning, where he posted 26 points in 69 games.

C Brett Howden, Moose Jaw Warriors

Drafted 27th overall (1st Round) in 2016

The Lightning's only first round pick in 2016, Howden got off to a blazing start for the Warriors before being sidelined with injury in late October. Named captain at the start of the season, Howden began the year with goals in six straight games, ending his six-game point streak with a four-point game against Kootenay on Oct. 8. The 18-year-old was named to Team WHL for the Canada Russia Series, but was unable to participate due to injury.

G Connor Ingram, Kamloops Blazers

Drafted 88th overall (3rd Round) in 2016

In his third year with the Blazers, Ingram has shouldered the weight in net with a 9-7-1 record through 17 games. He's posted one shutout, and has eight 30-plus-save games to his name so far this season. Heading into this week, he holds a .931 save percentage and 2.17 goals-against average.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)

LW Boko Imama, Saint John Sea Dogs

Drafted 180th overall (6th Round) in 2015

A heavyweight in the QMJHL, Imama has put up an offensively-minded season through 19 games so far. Five seasons into his junior career, the 20-year-old is already only three points from tying his previous career high of 19 (hit in 2014-15 with Baie-Comeau and again last season with Saint John). He has 11 goals and five assists heading into this week, bolstered by a four-goal performance Saturday night against Sherbrooke, earning him First Star honors. Imama currently sits fourth in Sea Dog scoring.

RW Mathieu Joseph, Saint John Sea Dogs

Drafted 120th overall (4th Round) in 2015

In his fourth year with Saint John, Joseph leads his club in scoring with 31 points in 19 games and ranks fourth among all QMJHL skaters in scoring, first in goals (19), second in power-play goals (8), and first in shorthanded goals (4). Joseph, 19, scored his second hat trick of the season on Saturday vs. Sherbrooke, earning the Second Star of the game.

LW Dennis Yan, Shawinigan Cataractes

Drafted 64th overall (3rd Round) in 2015

A product of the U.S. National Team Development Program, Yan has played the last three seasons with the Cataractes and paces them in goals (15) while ranking second overall for points (22). He posted 16 points in 12 games in the month of October, highlighted by a four-goal game against Val d'Or on Oct. 9. Yan played over a point-per-game in each of his first two seasons in the QMJHL, and is trending towards continuing that for a third-straight season..

C Otto Somppi, Halifax Mooseheads

Drafted 206th overall (7th Round) in 2016

Coming off a 46-point season in his first year with Halifax in 2015-16, Somppi is sixth in scoring for the Mooseheads with 11 points in 16 games to start the 2016-17 campaign. The Finnish forward has posted four multi-point games during a busy October, but has yet to record a point through two games in November.


F Ryan Lohin, UMass Lowell (Hockey East)

Drafted 208th overall (7th Round) in 2016

A freshman for the River Hawks, Lohin has eight points through 12 games, with five points in his last four games after a 1G-1A performance against the University of Maine on Sunday. He played three years in the USHL before being drafted by the Lightning, posting 83 points in 122 career games between Madison and Waterloo.

D John MacLeod, Boston University (Hockey East)

Drafted 57th overall (2nd Round) in 2014

In his junior season with the Terriers, MacLeod has three assists through eight games to go along with a plus-5 rating from the blueline. In last year's Frozen Four tournament, Boston fell 7-2 to Denver in the regional semifinals.

G Kris Oldham, U. of Nebraska-Omaha (NCHC)

Drafted 153rd overall (6th Round) in 2015

After posting a 29-21-4 record through two seasons and 64 games with Omaha of the USHL, Oldham began his collegiate career with the Mavericks this season. He is 2-1-0 through his first three games, with a .895 save percentage.

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, U. of Minnesota (Big-10)

Drafted 150th overall (5th Round) in 2015

A Minnesota native, Zuhlsdorf committed to the Gophers and began his freshman year this season after two years playing for Sioux City and then Dubuque of the USHL. He recorded 50 points in 102 career USHL games, and has three points in seven games so far this year for Minnesota.


Center and 2012 draft pick Tanner Richard scored his first career pro hat trick to help lead the Crunch to a 7-2 victory over Rochester at the War Memorial Arena on Saturday night … Matt Taormina has one goal and four assists in his last five games … 2014 pick Dominik Masin registered his first professional point in the win over Rochester.


"He's an offensive player, he's got confidence, and he's playing with other offensive players and making the most of his opportunity."

- Lightning's Director of Player Development Stacy Roest on Taylor Raddysh

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