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Lightning at the Draft Written by Dave - July 23rd, 2009

Ethan Werek

Lacking a first round draft pick, the Tampa Bay Lightning GM Dave Normoyle made the first Entry Draft of his CMHL career a good one.

Starting with four picks, the club ended up collecting 10 prospects as they shape the future of the organization.

Adding to the prospects the club already has under contract, that future is startin to give their fans something to get excited about.

ROUND 2
After not having a draft pick last summer, the Lightning finally got into the action at this year's draft with the 51st overall pick.  With two prime candidates from their short list available, the club passed up long-shot Jakob Silfverberg from Sweden and selected forward Ethan Werek of the Kingston Frontenacs.[

In Werek, the Lightning get a no-nonsense forward capable of plying center or on the left side.  At 6'2 and 195 pounds, Werek will get his nose dirty when he has to (83 penalty minutes in 66 games last season) but has some scoring skills as well, netting 32 goals and 32 helpers in his first OHL season.

Werek came into the Draft rated 47th.  Asked why he selected Werek rather than Silfverberg, the GM stated "Ethan can play with that edge in his game, while still producing.  That is a terrific quality for an 18 year old to have.  He plays a North American game, and we like what he brings.  We see Jakob as a risk pick at the end of the day."

"We currently hold the #62 and #82 picks in Round 3, as well as the 105th overall selection in Round 4 and are trying to add a couple of picks, but they are a hot commodity this year with such a deep draft.  We are hoping to have somebody come forward who might part with a couple of picks today - a late 3rd and 4th or a pair of 4ths.  We will see."

ROUND 3
The Lightning were looking for additional picks in the Entry Draft, and after turning over some stones, they managed to find a couple of suitors. 

The day started with the club acquiring the 61st and 92nd overall selections from the Islanders in exchange for forward Shawn Matthias.

During the 3rd Round, they shipped Jason Jaffray and Cory Murphy to Detroit in exchange for the 85th overall pick, bringing their total number of selections to 7 for the Draft to this point.

Now holding the first two selections of Round 3, the club's management had some discussions with Montreal about the #61 pick, but could not reach an agreement with their potential trading parntners.  The Canadiens were looking to pick up defenseman Tyson Barrie from the Kelowna Rockets, who the Lightning had pegged for their opening pick of the 3rd Round.   The club chose Barrie at that #61 spot.

Tyson BarrieBarrie is an offensive minded D-man who can move the puck well, and has an accurate shot.

 

Next selection was used to take Ryan Howse from Chilliwack.  The left winger scored 31 goals in 61 games last year in the WHL.  He is shifty, has grit and a nose for the net.

Howse is a terrific skater with great speed, and knows how to play in his own end of the rink.

Selecting at #82, the Lightning added another winger in Henrik Bjorklund from Sweden.  At 6'2 and 200+ pounds, the young Swede has a quick release and is a gifted scorer.  His size should help him adapt to play in North America.

Bjorklund toiled in the Swedish Elite League last season.

Three picks later, the Lightning added a speedy center to the mix, as they selected yet another son of a former pro hockey player.  Ryan Bourque, like Tyson Barrie, came from a hockey playing father, Hall of Famer Ray Bourque.  While Ryan is a little smaller, he has speed to burn and knows how to put the puck in the net.

Playing in the USA U-18 hockey program last season,  Bourque scored 46 points in 48 games, capping his season off with a Gold Medal.  He is slated to go to the QMJHL this coming season to play with Quebec.  Ryan's brother Chris is a forward in the CMHL Detroit Red Wings' system.

ROUND 4
The Lightning started Round 4 with a pair of picks (#92 and #105), but ended up drafting 5 players.

With the 2nd pick of the 4th Round, the Lightning selected forward Cody Eakin from the Swift Current Broncos.  Eakin is a lightning-fast 2-way center who put up some scoring in the WHL.

Eakin is an agile player who will use the body, even though he is not huge by any means.

Three picks later, the Lightning chose a sniper form the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL.  Kristopher Foucault was not deemed good enough to play in Kootenay to start last season, so he toiled in the AJHL.  Down the playoff stretch the hitmen signed him, and he responded with a terrific stretch run and playoffs.

Foucault scored 11 goals in 18 playoff games, earning a series MVP award on a talented Hitmen club.

With the 105th overall pick the Lightning selected Foucault's team mate in Calgary, Brandon Kozun.  Kozun is one of the most unheralded scorers in the draft, having potted 40 goals and 108 points last season in the WHL.

Brandon Kozun Small at 5'8 and 160 pounds, Kozun fits the mold of the future Lightning squads as he is fast and slippery.  Kozun has a nose for open space and soft hands, and could be a dark horse star in the future.

In the market for a goaltender, the Lightning think they found a winner with the 115th pick.  Ranked as high as 2nd among North American goaltenders last season, Scott Stajcer improved as the year went on.

Stajcer's net coverage is very good, and his work ethic is excellent.  He's got an air of confidence about him that you need at the pro level.

The final pick of the round saw the Lightning select winger Tyler Shattock from the WHL Kamloops Blazers.  Shattock is a solid 6'3, 200 pound forward who netted 30 goals last season in Kamloops.

Shattock has the potential to be the stereotypical power forward.  Following an injury-plagued season as an 18 year old, Shattock continues to develop nicely, something the Bolts are counting on.

In summarizing, the Lightning add:
D Tyson Barrie
F Ryan Howse
F Henrik Bjorklund
F Ryan Bourque
F Cody Eakin
F Kristopher Foucault
F Brandon Kozun
G Scott Stajcer
F Tyler Shattock

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