St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

Capsules of Lightning draft picks

Published June 28, 2004


Round: 4. Overall: 102.

Position: Defense. Age: 19 Height/Weight: 6-2, 180.

Team: University of Maine.

Hometown: Burnsville, Minn.

Scouting report: Not overpowering physically, but willing to get involved. Scouts say he ends up with the puck more often than not when it's loose in the corners. The hope is he will get stronger. Skating is not a problem. He's very smooth and quick. Not a great slap shot, but possesses a good, accurate wrist shot.

What head scout Jake Goertzen said: "He had a good year in a good program. He's not a real physical guy, but he gets the job done."


Round: 5. Overall: 158.

Position: Defense. Age: 20.

Height/Weight: 6-4, 225.

Team: Mississauga (Ontario Hockey League).

Hometown: Orangeville, Ont.

Scouting report: Bottom line is this guy is an enforcer. He had 89 penalty minutes in 30 games and likes to fight. He had four points and no goals, but those statistics don't matter with this guy. He is being groomed to be an NHL heavyweight.

What Goertzen said: "A big, tough guy. A bit of late bloomer. He played only a half a season, but we liked what we saw. He's a scrapper."


Round: 5. Overall: 163

Position: Left wing. Age: 19. Height/Weight: 6-3, 196.

Team: Northern Michigan University.

Hometown: Gilbert, Ariz.

Scouting report: Collins overcame the odds to be drafted. Born and raised in Arizona, he has developed his game at Northern Michigan. Still a bit raw, but he has good size. He scored one goal with five assists in 36 games. Listed as a left wing, but can play center, too.

What Goertzen said: "He's a big bruiser. He likes to hit and he likes to work and that's what we like about him."


Round: 6. Overall: 188.

Position: Defense. Age: 17. Height/Weight: 6-3, 187.

Team: Vsetin (Czech Junior).

Hometown: Brno, Czech Republic.

Scouting report: Ranked 55th among European skaters. Good frame, but needs to add weight and get stronger. A stay-at-home defenseman, he had two goals and four assists with 26 penalty minutes in 51 games. His stock dropped during the season, but the Lightning wasn't concerned because playing time often rises and falls in European leagues based on personality conflicts.

What Goertzen said: "We had him rated as a second-round pick because his skills are very, very good."


Round: 6. Overall: 191.

Position: Goaltender. Age: 17. Height/Weight: 6-2, 192.

Team: Pelicans (Finnish Junior).

Hometown: Asikkala, Finland.

Scouting report: Ranked fifth among European goaltenders. Played 18 games last season in the Finnish Junior League with a 3.31 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage. He was on the World Under-18 team, but didn't play much because Finland's top junior goalie is one of the best in the world and considered a first-round pick next season.

What Goertzen said: "He didn't get a lot of looks because of who he played behind, but he can play. We had him as a fifth-round guy. I like the way he moves in goal."


Round: 8. Overall: 245.

Position: Left wing. Age: 18. Height/Weight: 5-10, 174.

Team: Kelowna (Western Hockey League).

Hometown: Nelson, British Columbia.

Scouting report: Probably the best goal scorer of the Lightning 2004 draft class. A bit small, but produced offense in the rugged Western League with 25 goals and 21 assists in 72 games. His goal won the Memorial Cup for Kelowna.

What Goertzen said: "Not a big guy, but he can score. Not a physical guy, but he finds a way to score."

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.