The Tampa Bay Lightning enter the 2019 NHL Draft with six draft picks, including the 27th overall pick in Friday's first round, which means they have six opportunities to improve their hockey club.
It's not just the early round picks that turn about to be contributors at the NHL level, though, Ondrej Palat being perhaps the most famous example. The stalwart in the Lightning lineup was passed up 207 times before being selected by the Bolts with the 208th pick in the seventh round of the 2011 draft. Palat very nearly went unselected as that draft ended at pick 211.
Cedric Paquette (2012) and Mathieu Joseph (2015) were fourth round selections that have also contributed greatly to the Lightning's success.
The 2019 draft will be the first for the Lightning under the guidance of general manager Julien BriseBois but with newly-appointed assistant general manager - director of amateur scouting Al Murray remaining the architect of the Lightning draft class, expect little to change in terms of the Bolts selection process. Tampa Bay has generally favored a best-available-prospect approach rather than selecting based on need and that philosophy is expected to continue under BriseBois.
However, the Lightning will probably be on the lookout for a few defensemen to add to their prospect pool on the blue line and maybe try to add a goalie or two with the pipeline between the pipes currently pretty bare.
Below are all the details on this year's draft:
2019 NHL Draft
Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Rd. 1 (picks 1-31) - 8 p.m. (Eastern) Friday
Rds. 2-7 (picks 32-217) - 1 p.m. (Eastern) Saturday
Rd. 1 (Friday) - NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
Rds. 2-7 (Saturday) - NHL Network, Sportsnet
Rd. 1 - 27th overall
Rd. 3 - 89th overall
Rd. 4 - 120th overall
Rd. 6 - 182nd overall
Rd. 7 - 198th overall (from Chicago)
Rd. 7 - 213th overall
First Round order of selection
1 - New Jersey
2 - New York Rangers
3 - Chicago
4 - Colorado (from Ottawa)
5 - Los Angeles
6 - Detroit
7 - Buffalo
8 - Edmonton
9 - Anaheim
10 - Vancouver
11 - Philadelphia
12 - Minnesota
13 - Florida
14 - Arizona
15 - Montreal
16 - Colorado
17 - Vegas
18 - Dallas
19 - Ottawa (from Columbus)
20 - Winnipeg (from New York Rangers)
21 - Pittsburgh
22 - Los Angeles (from Toronto)
23 - New York Islanders
24 - Nashville
25 - Washington
26 - Calgary
27 - Tampa Bay
28 - Carolina
29 - Anaheim (from San Jose-Buffalo)
30 - Boston
31 - Buffalo (from St. Louis)
27th pick through the years
The Lightning have selected in the 27th spot twice before in franchise history. In 2011, Tampa Bay used the 27th pick to take F Vladislav Namestnikov, at the time, an 18-year-old center from the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. Five years later, Tampa Bay grabbed F Brett Howden with the 27th selection at the 2016 draft. Ironically, both of those players were included in the deal with the New York Rangers that brought Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller to Tampa Bay prior to the trade deadline during the 2017-18 season.
Other notable 27th overall selections include:
- John Carlson, a 2008 selection of the Washington Capitals who has emerged as a bonafide No. 1 defenseman.
- Scott Gomez, who was drafted in the first round to New Jersey in 1998 and went on to play over 1,000 NHL games.
- Tie Domi went to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round of the 1988 draft and finished his career with over 1,000 games and 3,500 penalty minutes.
- Joe Nieuwendyk is the most prolific goal scorer among 27th overall picks, netting 564 goals over an illustrious 20-year career after being taken by the Calgary Flames in the second round of the 1985 draft.
- Scott Mellanby had the longest career of NHL No. 27s, playing 21 seasons and skating in 1,431 games. Mellanby was a second round selection of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1984.
- Colin Campbell went to the Pittsburgh Penguins with a second round, No. 27 selection of the 1973 draft and played over 600 games in the NHL before joining the league office, where he is now the executive vice president and director of hockey operations.