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ESPN.com ranks Lightning second-best prospect pipeline in NHL

Thursday, 08.14.2014 / 4:49 PM / News
By Andrew DeWitt  - TampaBayLightning.com

ESPN.com has named the Lightning the second best prospect pipeline in the NHL. Last summer, Corey Pronman named the Bolts the No. 1 prospect pipeline and that showed with rookies Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson being finalists for the Calder Trophy.

This season, the Lightning have dropped to No. 2 after Tampa Bay played 10 rookies with fewer than 100 NHL games last season and scored a league-high 142 points from rookies.

Atlantic division rival Buffalo took home the top spot in Pronman's rankings followed by 2. Tampa Bay, 3. New York Islanders, 4. Nashville and 5. Florida.

Here's what Pronman had to say about the Lightning prospect pipeline

Tampa Bay has graduated a lot of talented young players over the past few seasons. Tampa had 20 players age 25 or younger play a game this past season, many in significant roles. They still have yet to graduate some of their most high-end players in left wing Jonathan Drouin and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, along with some more quality names in the system. The depth is obviously a much different story now than from their run of Calder Cup contending teams in the AHL, with most of their former top AHL players now NHL regulars.