Complete Tampa Bay Lightning Draft Coverage
The Tampa Bay Lightning went into the second day of the 2016 NHL Draft at Buffalo’s First Niagara Center with eight selections after selecting Brett Howden with the No. 27 pick on Friday night.
That number quickly grew to nine soon after the second round started.
The Lightning traded 2014 first round draft pick, defenseman Anthony DeAngelo, to the Arizona Coyotes for the 37th overall selection in 2016. Tampa Bay used the newly-acquired choice to nab Libor Hajek, a 6-foot-2, 196-pound defenseman from Smrcek, Czeck Republic, who last season had three goals, 23 assists and 76 penalty minutes in 69 games for the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League. Hajek led all Saskatoon rookies for points (26) and assists.
Lightning director of amateur scouting Al Murray said the Bolts were able to nab a first-round caliber player in the early stages of the second round by moving up, and Hajek was a “safer bet” than DeAngelo to be able to adapt both offensively and defensively at the NHL level.
“You have to give sometimes to get,” Murray said. “Libor Hajek, he’s a bigger body, and he’s a very solid two-way player.”
Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman indicated the trade to get Hajek wasn’t an indictment on the development of DeAngelo but more of a reflection of the potential the Bolts see in Hajek.
“We think Anthony’s an outstanding young prospect,” Yzerman said. “We’ve watched Libor Hajek for two years now. He’s a player we considered taking in the first round. When we saw him there in the second, we were trying to figure out a way to get him, and it was very expensive using picks and what not. Ultimately, we thought (trading up) was the best route to acquire him.”
With two more picks in the second round, the Lightning selected a pair of forwards, Boris Katchouk, a relentless forechecker from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL, with the 44th pick (acquired in last year’s trade deadline deal that sent Brett Connolly to the Boston Bruins) and Taylor Raddysh, a strong, skilled right wing from Erie of the OHL who compares his game to the Bolts’ Alex Killorn.
“(Erie) had two kind of balanced lines, and then when things got tough and went to the one heavy line, it was (Alex) DeBrincat with (Dylan) Strome and Raddysh,” Murray said. “So, (Raddysh) is a big body, skates well, he’s got puck skills and he thinks the game at a level that Strome and DeBrincat think the game at. Not a power forward but more of a big, skill guy who skates well. We’re optimistic.”
The Lightning weren’t in the market to draft a goalie according to Murray, but when Connor Ingram was available when the Bolts were on the clock with the 88th overall pick in the third round, they jumped on the 6-foot, 212 pounder from Kamloops of the WHL. Ingram went 34-15-9 with a 2.61 goals-against average, a .922 save percentage and four shutouts in 61 games for the Blazers in 2015-16.
“We’ll have four goalies that we like at our development camp that can play, but Connor Ingram, he was our top-ranked goalie, so we liked Connor,” Murray said. “There were a couple other guys right beside him that went earlier, so it was a very easy choice at that time that he was the top guy on our board and he was a goalie that we really liked. He went to the Hockey Canada goalie camp about two weeks ago, and Dave Alexander, our goalie coach for Syracuse was there, worked with all those goalies and came back with rave reviews on Connor. He really liked him during the season, and he confirmed a lot of the things that we felt.”
In the fourth round, Tampa Bay took high-scoring forward Ross Colton of the USHL’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. Colton finished second in the USHL for goals (35) and tied for second for points (66) in 2015-16. He also ranked eighth in the league with nine power-play goals.
The Lightning went with a familiar name in the fifth round, taking Niagara IceDogs forward Christopher Paquette, a cousin of current Bolt Cedric Paquette, who signed a two-year extension with Tampa Bay on Friday.
The younger Paquette said he plays the “exact same game” as his NHL cousin and is a two-way, right-handed forward who focuses on the defensive zone first.
“I follow him,” Christopher said of his cousin Cedric. “I watch every game. Every Tampa game I would watch, try to see what he does, his game.”
Murray said Christopher Paquette was stuck in a fourth-line position on a stacked Niagara team this past season but will move up into a greater role with a lot of players ahead of him leaving for the NHL.
“Very much like Anthony Cirelli a year ago, Anthony started on the fourth line, worked his way to a second, third line role with Oshawa, and this year he’s their No. 1 center,” Murray said. “We expect the same thing for Paquette. He’s on the fourth line this year. Our expectation is those guys all graduate, the NHL drafted guys, and he’s going to move up into a top six role with their team. He can play center or wing, so that helps him get a spot in their lineup.”
The Lightning opted for a sizable Russian defenseman prospect in the sixth round, taking 6-foot-8, 230 pound Oleg Sosunov from Ryazan. The 18-year-old skated in 39 games for Loko-Yunior of the Russia Jr. 2 league and had four goals and 12 points along with 66 penalty minutes.
“He can really skate,” Murray said. “He’s a decent puck handler, passer, and we’ll see what we have here.”
Tampa Bay chose a pair of centers with their two seventh round picks, taking Otto Somppi from Halifax of the QMJHL with the 206th overall pick and Chester, Pennsylvania, native Ryan Lohin at 208. Lohin scored 23 goals and 57 points in 62 USHL games splitting time between Madison and Waterloo in 2015-16.
Overall, including the selection of Brett Howden with the 27th overall pick in Friday’s first round, the Lightning drafted 10 players overall: seven forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender.
Five of the Bolts picks were Canadians, two from the United States and one each from Russia, Finland and the Czech Republic.
“This was a fun day,” Murray said. “Sometimes it’s just frustrating. This year it was fun. We had guys designated that we hoped to get in certain rounds, and it pretty much fell the way we thought it was going to. We didn’t have to overreach for people. We had a couple of guys at every pick that we liked, and at least one of them fell to us.
“So, it was good.”
Draft Selections By Round
First Round - No. 27 - C Brett Howden (Moose Jaw - WHL)
With the 27th selection of the 2016 NHL Draft, the Tampa Bay Lightning selected Brett Howden, a 6-foot-2 center from Moose Jaw of the Western Hockey League.
Howden recorded 24 goals and 40 assists over 68 games for Moose Jaw during the 2015-16 season, finishing fourth on the team. He added four goals and 11 assists in 15 postseason games, including four-straight multi-point performances in a first round playoff series win over Prince Albert.
Howden, an 18-year-old left-handed shot from Calgary, captained Canada to a gold medal at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial.
Howden is the younger brother of current Florida Panther Quinton Howden.
Second Round - No. 37 (from ARI) - D Libor Hajek (Saskatoon - WHL)
With two picks already in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft, the Tampa Bay Lightning traded up to get one more second rounder.
The Lightning traded defenseman Anthony DeAngelo, the Bolts’ first round pick in the 2014 draft, to Arizona for pick No. 37.
With the newly-acquired pick, the Lightning selected Libor Hajek, a 6-foot-2, 196-pound defenseman from Smrcek, Czech Republic.
Hajek played the 2015-16 season with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL. The left-handed shot led had three goals and 23 assists and led all Saskatoon rookies in assists and points (26).
Hajek played for the Czech Republic in the last two editions of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial and helped his team to the silver medal in 2014.
Second Round - No. 44 (from BOS) - LW Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie - OHL)
Tampa Bay owned the 44th selection in the 2016 NHL Draft as a result of the trade that sent Brett Connolly to the Boston Bruins at last season’s trade deadline.
With that pick, the Lightning took Boris Katchouk, a 6-foot-1, 192-pound left wing from Waterloo, Ontario.
Katchouk played in 63 games for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 2015-16, collecting 24 goals and 27 assists. His 51 points were fourth on the Greyhounds and fifth among OHL rookies. He was named to the OHL Second All-Rookie Team. Katchouk said he’s “relentless on the forecheck” and compares his game to St. Louis’ David Backes.
Katchouk is a dual-citizen of Canada and Russia. He celebrated his 18th birthday one week ago from today.
Second Round - No. 58 - RW Taylor Raddysh (Erie - OHL)
After trading defenseman Anthony DeAngelo to the Arizona Coyotes for the 37th pick in the 2016 NHL Draft early on Saturday, Tampa Bay owned three picks in the second round.
With the final of those picks, the Lightning chose Taylor Raddysh, a physical right wing from the Erie Otters of the OHL.
“I can’t describe this,” Raddysh said about getting drafted. “It’s the best feeling of my life so far.”
Raddysh said he can be “a skilled, strong forward” who compares his game to current Lightning winger Alex Killorn.
“He’s a big, strong guy, skilled offensively,” Raddysh said of Killorn. “And he shows up in big games.”
Raddysh ranked third on the Otters for scoring after registering 24 goals and 49 assists in 67 regular season games to average over a point a game. He started the season in Erie on a nine-game point streak (5 goals, 9 assists). Raddysh also contributed 10 points in 12 playoff games for Erie.
Raddysh is 6-foot-2, 203 pounds and from Caledon, Ontario.
Third Round - No. 88 - G Connor Ingram (Kamloops - WHL)
Following a busy second round at the 2016 NHL Draft, Tampa Bay owned just one pick in the third round (88th overall).
With it, the Lightning selected a goaltender, Connor Ingram from Kamloops of the WHL.
Ingram, who has spent the past two seasons with the Blazers, is from Imperial, Saskatoon. The 6-foot, 212 pounder went 34-15-9 with a 2.61 goals-against average, a .922 save percentage and four shutouts in 61 games. That follows a year in which he went 21-21-5, 2.96 GAA and .904 as a rookie with Kamloops.
The 19-year-old Ingram catches with his left hand.
Fourth Round - No. 118 - C Ross Colton (Cedar Rapids - USHL)
Tampa Bay opted for a forward with its fourth round pick (118th overall), taking center Ross Colton of Cedar Rapids in the USHL.
Colton scored 35 goals in 55 games for the RoughRiders in 2015-16, finishing second in the USHL behind only Rem Pitlick (46). Colton added 31 assists to finish with 66 points, tied for second in the league, and was plus-32 on the season. Colton led Cedar Rapids for goals, points, points per game (1.20), power-play goals (9), shots (209) and was tied for the team plus/minus lead this season.
In 2014-15 with Cedar Rapids, Colton tallied 18-15—33 points in 58 games. Colton, from Robbinsville, New Jersey, stands 6 feet tall, weighs 190 pounds and is 19 years old. He’s a left-handed shot.
Fifth Round - No. 148 - C Chris Paquette (Niagara - OHL)
Tampa Bay went with a familiar name with the 148th overall pick in the fifth round of the 2016 NHL Draft, taking Christopher Paquette from Niagara of the OHL.
Christopher Paquette is cousins with current Lightning forward Cedric Paquette, who re-signed a two-year deal with the Bolts on Friday.
The younger Paquette, a 6-foot-1, 207-pound center, said he plays the “exact same game” as his older cousin.
“I follow him,” he said. “I watch every game. Every Tampa game I would watch, try to see what he does, his game.”
Paquette said he’s a two-way, right-handed forward with an edge to his game, although he’s not as much of a fighter as Cedric.
“The defensive zone comes first,” Paquette said.
Paquette notched five goals, 11 assists and 18 penalty minutes in 57 games for Niagara in 2015-16. As a rookie with the IceDogs, he put up 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists) in 54 games.
Paquette is from Kingston, Ontario. Cedric is from Gaspe. The two didn’t grow up together because Christopher’s father is in the military.
“We moved around a lot,” Paquette said.
Paquette’s never seen Cedric play a NHL game in person but is looking forward to getting a closer look in the near future. He also said it was a big weekend for the Paquettes with Cedric inking his new deal yesterday.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “The family up north, I’m sure they’ll be proud.”
Sixth Round - No. 178 - D Oleg Sosunov (Loko-Yunior Yaroslav - Russia Jr. 2 )
With their sixth round pick (178th overall) at the 2016 NHL Draft, the Tampa Bay Lightning went with a sizable Russian defenseman, selecting the 6-foot-8, 230-pound Oleg Sosunov.
The 18-year-old Sosunov accumulated 66 penalty minutes in 39 games for Loko-Yunior Yaroslav of the Russian Junior 2 league in 2015-16. He also put up four goals and eight assists. Sosunov played three games with Yaroslavl 2 of the Russian Junior league last season as well.
In 2014-15 with Ryazan 2 of the Russian Junior 2 league, Sosunov contributed six goals, three assists and 50 penalty minutes in 49 games.
Sosunov was born in Ryazan, Russia. He’s a left-handed shooter.
Seventh Round - No. 206 (from DAL) - C Otto Somppi (Halifax - QMJHL)
Tampa Bay owned two selections in the seventh round of the 2016 NHL Draft.
With the first of those picks, the 206th overall, the Lightning chose Otto Somppi from Helsinki, Finland.
“I was really happy when I heard my name and it was Tampa,” the 18-year-old Somppi said.
A 6-foot, 180 pound center, Somppi recently completed his rookie season with Halifax of the QMJHL, where he recorded 13 goals and 33 assists in 59 games.
The left-handed shooter played for Finland at the 2016 U-18 World Championship and 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial, scoring a goal in each competition.
Somppi said one of his favorite players in the NHL is fellow Finnish player Valtteri Filppula.
Seventh Round - No. 208 - C Ryan Lohin (Waterlook - USHL)
With their final of nine selections at the 2016 NHL Draft, the Tampa Bay Lightning took Ryan Lohin from Waterloo of the USHL in the seventh round, 208th overall.
Lohin, a left-handed center from Chester, Pennsylvania, spent part of the 2015-16 season with Madison of the USHL, where he recorded 16 goals, 23 assists and 50 penalty minutes in 48 games, before moving to Waterloo. With the Black Hawks, Lohin averaged over a point a game, notching seven goals and 11 assists in 14 games.
Lohin spent the entire 2014-15 season with Madison and had 10 goals and 16 assists in his USHL rookie year.
Lohin stands 6 feet tall, weighs 193 pounds and will turn 20 years old on Sunday.
2016 NHL Draft Trades
|Lightning get:||Coyotes get:|
|2016 2nd Round Pick (No. 37)||
2016 NHL Draft
See how NHL Central Scouting ranks the best draft-eligible prospects in the world heading into the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo.Read Now