Dynasty Hockey League

Young Bolts Look To Make Impact

Tampa’s New Future Superstar Andrei Svechnikov

The Bolts were looking to bring in a forward to build their team around after bringing McAvoy last summer to build their d-core around, Mission accomplished for the Bolts.

“Even before the draft lotto we decided that we would push hard to get a top 2 pick in this draft if we were not so lucky to win it. When we didn’t win we started pressing hard, it cost us a pretty penny but we feel we got our franchise forward in Svechnikov, we have already let him know that he should be prepared to retire as a member of the Lightning”.

Svechnikov in the Bolts belief is a future 40 goal scorer for the team, and while he has been a great add, but there are a few other youngsters besides Svechnikov and McAvoy that look like they could make some noise for the Bolts in the near future. Robert Thomas looks like he’ll be waiting 1 more season before making his debut for the Lightning. He’s having a very solid rookie season in the NHL, having put up 7 goals and 18 assists in 55 games. Another Bolt who could make their debut at the same time as Thomas could be Jonas Siegenthaler. Siegenthaler was the biggest piece that Tampa got in return for the soon to be retired Zetterberg, and while Siegenthaler is no star player he looks like a future top 4 staple for the Bolts. He’s a smooth skating defensive minded d-man that has size. He’s split time between the Capitals and the Hershey Bears this year but when he has been in the pros he has looked good. The last prospect of Tampa’s that could make their Bolts debut Teodors Blugers. Blugers has been called up late in the season for the Pens and has put up decent point totals with 3 goals and 1 assist in 14 games. Not overly sure what the kids upside is but if he’s a decent 3C long term for the Bolts, that’d be great.

While a lot of Bolts are looking to get rated and make their debuts soon, some of the Bolts more prized prospects are still a couple years away. Leading the way is small Russian forward Kirill Kaprizov. Kaprizov has been playing in the KHL since his draft season in 2014-2015 and has shown that he has potential to be really good point producer in the NHL. This season he’s been fabulous with 51 points in 57 games. He could be potentially the next Artemi Panarin which would be nice to go with fellow Russian Andrei Svechnikov, but only time will tell. Forward Oliver Wahlstrom is next on the list of high end prospects for the Bolts. Whalstrom has struggled in his first NCAA year, with 16 points in 31 games he seems to be more of a project than first anticipated. Still the Bolts believe in his potential and they think he could be a Max Pacioretty type of player. Last on the list of the high end prospects for the Bolts is Alexander Romanov. He too is playing in the KHL like Kaprizov, unlike Kaprizov though Romanov is a defenceman and not tearing the league up. With only 4 points in 43 games Romanov his skills in terms of offence could be questioned. But the fact is you don’t see many 18 year old d-men play as regulars in the KHL so that in itself is impressive. The smooth skating two-way d-man should be a staple as a top 4 d-man for the Bolts for years to come.

The Bolts prospect pool may not be the deepest, but that lack of depth can be essentially cancelled out with some of the high end guys they have. Bolts GM MacPherson had this to say about a pool that doesn’t have as many good prospects arguably than some other teams, “We may not have 10 really good prospects who were drafted top 10 in the draft, but I think the caliber of players we have is something I’d want more. Svechnikov looks like he could be a franchise wing, Kaprizov has proved in the KHL time and time again that he is the real deal. McAvoy had a Norris caliber year for us last year, I’m ecstatic with the guys we have. I’d take 2 elite guys like Svech and McAvoy over 10 really good prospects any day of the week. The reality of the situation is that our whole team won’t be aged 25 or under when we start to compete. We want the highest end youngsters we can get our hands on rather than a quantity of a good prospects. We don’t want to be tanking for 10 seasons waiting for some of those really good prospects to make an impact. While guys like Wall-E and Kapri might not be able to play for our team right away, but they are still big parts of our plan. But we plan to compete around the time Kapri comes over and before the time Wahlstrom is ready.”

One thing is for certain, teams in the east should be watching the Bolts as they have the potential to be a perennial powerhouse within the next couple of years.

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