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.
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.
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.