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Lightning Focus on Defense in 2010 Draft

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Brett Connolly, drafted sixth overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning, poses on stage with team personnel during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Lightning focused on defense in this draft, choosing four defenseman. They also went after skilled, though small, forwards. Several of their picks have the potential to contribute in the future.

1st Round, 6th Overall: Brett Connolly

With Steve Yzerman’s first pick as a General Manager, the Lightning selected right wing Brett Connoly. Connolly’s a skilled forward who has shown good scoring touch in his time in the WHL. The major question surrounding his future is his ability to overcome injuries. He had serious hip flexor injuries that limited him to 16 games this past season. If he can stay healthy, the Bolts can expect a top line scoring winger.

3rd Round, 63rd Overall: Brock Beukeboom

The Lightning took Brock Beukeboom, a hard-shooting defenseman with their second pick in the draft. He was used on the powerplay in the OHL this season and likes to play physically. His positioning needs work, but that may come as he matures. If he improves his game, Tampa Bay can look forward to a solid two-way defenseman who has the potential to play in the top two pairings.

3rd Round, 66th Overall: Radko Gudas

The Bolts chose another defenseman three picks later. Gudas is a hard-hitting, gritty defensesman who was one of the oldest picks in this draft. He lacks the skill of other third round picks, and needs to work on his play with and without the puck. At age 20, he has less time to mature than other picks do, but he has the potential to become a third pairing defenseman.

3rd Round, 72nd Overall: Adam Janosik

The Bolts use their third third round pick to choose another defenseman. Janosik is a puck possession defenseman who has shown good skill. He is small and needs to bulk up before he is NHL-ready, but if he develops, he has the potential to be in the top two defensive pairings.

4th Round, 96th Overall: Geoffrey Schemitsch

Schemitsch, another defenseman, has shown the ability to be a finesse player in the OHL. His passing and offensive skills are good, but he has a tendency to shy away from physical play. He is still small, and has a hard time winning one-on-one battles for the puck. As he develops and puts on more muscle, that may change as it becomes easier to fight for the puck.

4th Round, 118th Overall: James Mullin

Mullin is a skilled center who has put up good point totals in his time in the Shattuck-St. Mary’s program. He will be playing for the University of Miami (Ohio) next season and could have four years to develop there. He is listed at 5’10” and size is his greatest weakness. If he is able to bulk up during his college years, he could develop into a solid late-round pick for the Bolts.

6th Round, 156th Overall: Brendan O’Donnell

The Lightning selected another center in the 6th round. O’Donnell has committed to play for North Dakota, and has several years during which he can develop there. He has shown the ability to score consistently and has good vision on the ice. He will have to gain strength and show that he can compete at higher levels before becoming NHL-ready.

7th Round, 186th Overall: Teigan Zahn

The Bolts snagged a scrappy defenseman with their final pick in the draft. He is already 20, and is expected to play for their Norfolk team immediately. He has limited offensive ability, but has shown some leadership ability.

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