September 32-in-32: Tampa Bay Lightning

Caleb Kerney


Before the 2022 draft it was tough to find players to get truly excited about in the Tampa system. Tampa management knows how to develop usable players into third and fourth liners who contribute game in and game out, which has always given fantasy owners a carrot to chase. 

The 2022 draft delivered to the Lightning a legit potential first-line player at 31st overall as well as a couple players with top line upside who will probably be fantastic middle six options in the future. Here are the two players I am most excited about. 

Isaac Howard 

Howard is a rush attack monster who shoots at anything that looks like a net. His pace and intensity always keep him engaged offensively. I could see him push to make the team once his NCAA commitments are fulfilled. 

He’s extremely competitive and always wants the puck on his stick. His shot is lethal, and rarely missed on a rush opportunity. His one-two step acceleration and elite stickhandling abilities give him the tools to create separation between him and forecheckers. 

Connor Kurth 

My favorite pick of the 2022 draft for the Lightning is Connor Kurth. He is a wonderful blend of physicality, puck skills and size. He scores a lot of goals around the net and can be a pest in the opposing goalie’s kitchen. 

Look for him to take a step forward this year at the University of Minnesota and cash in on a great loose puck of an opportunity. 

Graduating Players 

Lucas Edmonds 

In the 2021-22 season Edmonds left Sweden, where he had spent the entirety of his junior hockey career for the greener pastures of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs. He reached new heights in his junior career with 113 points in 68 games, while wearing an “A” for the team. 

The one catch with this performance is that Edmonds was a triple overager when the Lightning selected him in the third round of the 2022 Draft. He SHOULD be dominating these players. 

Regardless, his 1.66 points per game is nothing to scoff at. He is primed to take the next leap forward in his development by earning a spot for the AHL squad during this off-season’s training camp. 

On The Cusp 

Alex Barré-Boulet 

Barré-Boulet has gotten 14 and 15 game auditions with the big club the past two seasons, and has yet to find consistency in the NHL. His eight points in 29 games needs to change if he is to solidify himself with the cup-contending squad. 

With 63 points in 58 AHL games last season it is evident that the production is there. He just needs to bite, scratch, claw, and burn the door down of the NHL to get his chance. Ultimately he would be best served in a top-six role but might have to grind away in the bottom half of the lineup just to stay with the Lightning squad. 

Is this Barré-Boulet’s year? We’d all love to see it. 

Philippe Myers 

One part of the return for McDonaugh, Myers is a big mobile defenseman who split his time between Nashville in the NHL and the Toronto Marlies of the AHL to the tune of 11 points in 43 total games. 

He can step up his game when he is playing with teammates that can partake in give and go plays or wheelin’ and dealin’. 

Myers had great flashes of offence towards the end of his tenure in Nashville when, halfway through a game, he was paired with Roman Josi. The results were a PP goal for Myers with some great chemistry with Josi. 

Look out for Myers to find his way on a pairing with Hedman. The first day of training camp was today and Hedman was paired with the boy wonder, Cal Foote while Myers found himself with Ian Cole. I still wouldn’t be concerned about Myers deployment just yet, as a lot can change between now and Game One of the season. 


Niko Huuhtanen 

Since the last time I took a look at Huuhtanen in June and he’s played some Champion’s Hockey League games as well as three Liiga games. In that time he’s improved his skating. Which comes down to either his stride improving or the quality of competition forcing him to reach that extra gear. He doesn’t tear the opposition to pieces but he gets to where he needs éto be so he can score goals like this:

If he keeps picking up his game like this, he will plant his flag in the ground of the top 9 of Tampa in 2023/24. Oh, he also has a wicked one-timer too. 


Hugo Alnefelt 

Alnefelt has felt a bit of adversity this year, as he has battled through several undisclosed injuries that have hampered his play. A sub 890 Save % across all three leagues that he played games in to go along with a 3.14 GAA and a 3.51 GAA in the AHL and ECHL respectively. He also posted a 9.00 GAA in one NHL game, which might as well be a write off. 

He’ll be looking to take over the starting goalie position in Syracuse but time will tell if he can achieve that. A good season for Alnefelt would be injury free with a GAA south of 3.00 and a 910+ Save %. 

Depth Chart

LW                                              C                                             RW

Cole Koepke                        Dylan Duke                          Alex Barré-Boulet
Isaac Howard                   Gabriel Fortier                       Niko Huuhtanen
Lucas Edmonds                Connor Kurth                        Maxim Cajkovic
Anthony Richard               Odeen Tufto                          Maxim Groshev
Mikhail Shalagin               Otto Somppi                            Tye Felhaber
Klavs Veinbergs                  Jack Finley                              Nick Capone
Grant Mismash               Gage Goncalves
Remi Elie
McKade Webster
Jayden Dureau


                      LD                                                             RD

            Dmitri Semykin                                          Philippe Myers
        Quinn Schmiemann                                         Nick Perbix
                Dyllan Gill                                                  Max Crozier
                 Sean Day                                                 Eamon Powell
          Andreas Borgman                                       Roman Schmidt
           Darren Raddysh                                         Jack Thompson


                                              Hugo Alnefelt
                                            Magnus Chrona
                                                Nick Malik
                                          Alexei Melnichuk
                                                 Ty Taylor

Top 20 Prospects 

  1. Alex Barré-Boulet 
  2. Philippe Myers 
  3. Isaac Howard 
  4. Cole Koepke 
  5. Niko Huuhtanen 
  6. Connor Kurth 
  7. Hugo Alnefelt 
  8. Nick Perbix 
  9. Sean Day 
  10. Dylan Duke 
  11. Jack Finley 
  12. Roman Schmidt 
  13. Lucas Edmonds 
  14. Gage Golcaves 
  15. Cole Koepke 
  16. Otto Somppi 
  17. Grant Mismash 
  18. Gabriel Fortier 
  19. Maxim Cajkovic 
  20. Maxim Groshev


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Timur Mukhanov 8.0 7.0
Alexander Pashin 7.0 2.5
Felix Unger Sörum 7.5 8.5
Charles-Alexis Legault 4 6.5
Alexander Pelevin 3 2
Tyler Tucker 5.0 6.0
Matt Kessel 4.0 7.5
Aatu Räty 8.0 7.0
Jackson Blake 6.0 6.0
Ryan Ufko 7.0 6.0