3 From 30: Tampa Bay Lightning’s Rising Stars

The Tampa Bay Lightning has seen the loss of their captain Vincent Lecavalier. It wasn’t really a loss, because the team bought him out. The team picked up Jonathan Drouin on the forward line, and he isn’t the only who needs to practice hard this offseason. Here come my picks for rising stars in Tampa Bay, and they may be a shock to you.

May 23, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Valtteri Filppula (51) skates with the puck against the Chicago Blackhawks in game four of the second round for the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Valtteri Filppula left the Detroit Red Wings this offseason and he joined the likes of Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos in Tampa. He has a great chance to prove himself in Tampa. He notched 17 points (9G, 8A) last season in Detroit, scoring some amazing goals, especially in the playoffs. He only played 41 games last season, but in a full season he is great to watch. Fast and furious, Filppula will be putting up some massive points this year.

Apr 21, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Eric Brewer (2) skates with the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Brewer scored just 12 points last year. The 5th overall pick in 1999 by the New York Islanders, Brewer has produced just 243 points in his 888 NHL games. These stats are very low, but the veteran can step up his game this year. Even though people say “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” he doesn’t need new tricks. If he just trains a little harder with some simple defensive play, he can step up and be a stronger defensive influence for this team.

Apr 25, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins center Carl Soderberg (34) and Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Anders Lindback (39) and defenseman Sami Salo (6) look at the puck in mid air during the third period at TD Garden. The Boston Bruins won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Sami Salo played many years for the Vancouver Canucks before making a huge move to Tampa Bay last season. He spent 9 years in Vancouver, with his last season there scoring 25 points. In Tampa last year, he produced just 17 points in 46 games. Salo is a good defensive player, and he will show us this season. He will be very strong, and I expect a good amount of points out of him.

These are my picks for rising stars in Tampa Bay. Can the team make the playoffs after losing their captain this year? Maybe they can. Tell me what you think. Put it in the comment box below, or on Twitter.

Topics: FanSided, NHL, Tampa Bay Lightning

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  • Averageman

    You obviously don’t know the Lightning prospects. They have a lot of good young players ready to make an impact in the NHL: Jonathan Drouin, Alex Killorn, Radko Gudas, Richard Panik, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Mark Barberio, Brett Conolly. I think Gudas, Johnson and Killorn are the three who will make the most impact this year and Drouin will be following right behind them. Filpulla is a known commodity- a good two way center who can provide secondary scoring. He’s sure to help fill in the gap left by Lecavalier’s exit. Brewer and Salo are aging Dmen who showed last season how the grind of 10+ NHL seasons wears players down. Their playing times will have to be reduced this season. With Hedman and Gudas as two good young defensemen and Carle as an offensively capable but defensively soft D-man, the defense is the obvious weak spot of this team. Unless the whole team can reinvent itself as the Detroit Red Wings of the south, and play a complete two-way game, they will have a difficult time making the playoffs.

  • Deano

    I agree with Averageman. Dylan you obviously have no clue how things work. First of all, Eric Brewer is a defensive defenseman! If you’ve watched a game before you will notice, or apparently not, that Brewer is on the ice playing against the other teams top lines (Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Ovechkin etc…) and penalty killing so he and his teammates don’t often have the puck so accumulating points is not a priority. In addition to stopping all-star players, Brewer captained St. Louis for 4 years, played for Canada at the Olympics in Salt Lake (Gold Medal), has played multiple times for Team Canada during the World Championships (Gold Medal(s)), 2000 All Star game, and as you mentioned a 5th overall draft pick by the NYI. With that resume I don’t believe he needs to “train a little harder on simple defensive play” as you put it. He’s teacheing the younger players how to play and be professionals off the ice…as well as stopping the “big guns” from opposing teams. The same can be said for Sami Salo, excpet the only difference is that Sami is used on the power play becasue of his unparalled shot, hense the point difference.Dylan, please do you research before you open your mouth!