Tampa Bay Lightning 2015 NHL Draft Recap

iss_recaptampabayWith the 2015 NHL Draft completed, International Scouting Services recaps and identifies key up and coming prospects. 

August 19, 2015 [Waterloo, ON] ISS Hockey recaps the top prospects drafted by Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2015 NHL Draft, held on June 26-27, 2015 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida:

Top Prospects Drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2015 NHL Draft

ISSOv.NamePosBirth DateHeightWeightTeamLeague
3333STEPHENS, MitchellC2/5/19975.11.25188SaginawOHL
7044SPENCER, MatthewRD3/24/19976.01.5203PeterboroughOHL
4864YAN, DennisLW4/14/19976.01.25184ShawiniganQMJHL
18372CIRELLI, AnthonyC7/15/19975.11.5160OshawaOHL
113118TAMMELA, JonneC8/5/19975.1180KuopioFinE
102120JOSEPH, MathieuRW2/9/19976.00.75166Saint JohnQMJHL
NA150ZUHLSDORF, RyanLD7/1/19975.11.25188Sioux CityUSHL
NA153OLDHAM, KristianG6/25/19976.02.25203OmahaUSHL
NA180IMAMA, BokondjiLW8/3/19966.01214Saint JohnQMJHL
June 26-27, BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida

ISS Scouts have been tracking prospects eligible for the NHL Draft for years (typically from the age of fourteen), so they have unique knowledge of strengths, weaknesses and probabilities for success at the NHL level. ISS Hockey scouts identify prospects that have been chosen by the Tampa Bay Lightning in past drafts and provide a brief summary of how these drafted players will influence the team:

Mitchell Stephens (ISS Ranked #33 in 2015, Overall drafted #33 in 2015 NHL Draft) – Stephens is the perfect complimentary player for this skilled group of forwards; good size, strong two-way game, smart and versatile. Bangs and chips in offensively plus has the ability to spot in on higher lines and special teams.

Tony DeAngelo (ISS Ranked #32 in 2014, Overall drafted #19 in 2014 NHL Draft) – Voted 2015 CHL Defenseman of the Year. Offensive defenseman with an abundance of natural skill. Once his game matures and he smooth’s out some of his defensive deficiencies, he can be a potent PP weapon. The future pairing of Hedman – DeAngelo is definitely an intriguing one.

Jonathan Drouin (ISS Ranked #3 in 2013, Overall drafted #3 in 2013 NHL Draft) – Although there hasn’t been as rapid development as the Lightning would have liked in Drouin’s game since 2013, there is no doubt he remains big part of its future. Expect his level of play and production to rise next year as he takes on a bigger role in the offense.

Slater Koekkoek (ISS Ranked #21 in 2012, Overall drafted #10 in 2012 NHL Draft) – Expect the Lightning brass to give him time to develop and dominate at the AHL level before a promotion to the NHL. Along with DeAngelo, Koekkoek lead the Lightning’s defensive prospects in terms of upside for the next level and skill-set.

Andrei Vasilevski (ISS Ranked #1 in 2012, Overall drafted #19 in 2012 NHL Draft) – Big things are expected of Vasilevski, 21, who began his pro career last year. He appeared in 16 regular season games for the Lightning and was 7-5-1 with one shutout, posting a 2.36 goals against.  Possesses a massive frame and utilizes it well to challenge shooters.

BEST VALUE PICK SINCE 2010:

Nikita Kucherov (ISS Ranked #58 in 2011, Overall drafted #59 in 2011 NHL Draft) – Another late 2nd round steal who is already contributing at the NHL level. Talented forward with dangerous offensive tools and good speed. High end work ethic and compete. Kucherov has quickly developed into one of the best young offensive forwards in the NHL.

“In recent drafts the Lightning scouting staff have been eyeing skill and speed, Stephens brings both of those with a relentless two-way mindset. GM Steve Yzerman opted to trade down, trading the #24 pick for the 33rd and 72nd overall picks, adding Stephens and Memorial Cup star Anthony Cirelli. Stockpiling talented young forwards is an area that the Lightning have excelled over the past few years at the draft and it is beginning to pay dividends as those prospects are now entering the AHL and NHL ranks. Dennis Yan at 64th overall may turn out to be one of the steals of the 2015 draft. Yan is pure sniper who protects well and shows a knack for finding open offensive ice. Lightning also bolstered their depth along the blue line when they selected smooth skating d-men Matthew Spencer 44th overall in the 2nd round of the 2015 NHL Draft”, says ISS Hockey Director of Scouting Dennis MacInnis.

UPCOMING NHL TEAM DRAFT RECAPS:
Anaheim Ducks – 08/21/2015
Pittsburgh Penguins – 08/24/2015
Chicago Blackhawks – 08/26/2015

PREVIOUSLY RELEASED NHL TEAM DRAFT RECAPS:
Edmonton Oilers – 06/29/2015
Buffalo Sabres – 07/01/2015
Arizona Coyotes – 07/03/2015
Toronto Maple Leafs – 07/06/2015
Carolina Hurricanes – 07/08/2015
New Jersey Devils – 07/10/2105
Philadelphia Flyers – 07/13/2015
Columbus Blue Jackets – 07/15/2015
San Jose Sharks – 07/17/2015
Colorado Avalanche – 07/20/2015
Florida Panthers – 07/22/2015
Dallas Stars – 07/24/2015
Los Angeles Kings – 07/27/2015
Boston Bruins – 07/29/2015
Calgary Flames – 07/31/2015
Winnipeg Jets – 08/03/2015
Ottawa Senators – 08/05/2015 
Detroit Red Wings – 08/07/2015
Minnesota Wild – 08/10/2015
Washington Capitals – 08/12/2015
Vancouver Canucks – 08/14/2015
Montreal Canadiens – 08/17/2015