Young Guns Lightning It Up

Dobber Sports


Cory Conacher USA Today

The Lightning have a number of young players building up their fantasy values in 2013.


With 41 points from rookies this season, the Tampa Bay Lightning rank second in rookie scoring. Take 23-year-old Calder Trophy candidate Cory Conacher and his 21 points out of the equation and the Lightning remain in the top 10, tied with Detroit at number nine. 

Since Feb. 10, six rookie forwards have made their NHL debuts for Tampa, all getting the call from the American Hockey League's number Syracuse Crunch. Averaging 45 points in the American League this season, these four Syracuse call-ups are a great display of the Lightening's depth at the forward position, filling holes left by injuries to Vincent Lecalvier, Ryan Malone and Benoit Pouliot, all placed on the injury reserve earlier this month.


4.) Richard Panik – Round 2, 52nd Overall 2008 NHL Entry Draft 


Aside from scoring his first NHL goal Feb. 23 against the Islanders, Richard Panik was a silent one point, minus-two in nine NHL games before being sent back down to Syracuse. Noted by scouts as being highly skilled, Panik will benefit from seasoning in the AHL where he will need to build consistency. He could be a solid long-term option, who at 21-years-old has time to develop into a point-per-game player in due time.


3.) Ondrej Palat – Round 7, 208th Overall 2011 NHL Entry Draft 


21-year-old left wing Ondrej Palat has contributed a decent four points in nine games since making his NHL debut March 12 against Florida. Palat carries Syracuse's offence along with line mate Johnson, scoring 44 points in 49 games in the AHL this season. The Czech is noted for his creativity in the offensive zone and with 33 assists in the AHL is an outstanding passer. However, standing at 5-11, 174 pounds, concerns of his size render Palat's NHL future uncertain.