Tampa Bay Lightning Draft Fits: US High School Forwards

Tampa Bay Lightning Draft

The 2022 NHL Draft is fast approaching. The Tampa Bay Lightning, preparing to play game four of the Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Rangers, elected to keep their first-round draft selection for the first time in what seems like forever. So, while they likely aren’t focusing too much on the draft, Last Word will look at some Lightning draft prototypes in a new series. 

Tampa Bay Lightning Draft Fits: US High School Forwards

The Lightning, since 2010 when Julien BriseBois became an assistant general manager and Al Murray joined the organization, have drafted four players out of US High Schools. On average, those players stood 6’0.5” and 186 pounds. Other averages included roughly 62 games played pre-draft, 39 goals, 44 assists and 83 points. 

The most games played pre-draft is 85, set by Sammy Walker, while the least is 55, set by Jimmy Mullin. The most goals belong to Brian Hart with 61, with the least at 20, from Cooper Flinton. As for assists, Hart has the most at 68, while Flinton had the least at 21. When it comes to points, Hart holds the most at 129, with Flinton with the least at 41. With the parameters now set, which draft-eligible high school hockey player is a Lightning fit? (Also used to find prototypes is per game USHS stats and U18 World Juniors performance). 

Fit #1: Michael Callow, Right Wing, St. Sebastian’s Prep

Callow is ranked 131st among North American skaters by Central Scouting. He would be a late-round option for the Tampa Bay Lightning. If drafted by the Lightning, Callow would set a new high for USHS draftees with his height (6’4”). He would also be above average for his weight (194). However, he would finish below average in every USHS statistical category. He is not a positive fit in total, but he also isn’t a negative fit by much (a draft fit score of -2). 

Now, this writer has never personally watched Callow play. Instead, he reached out to Gabriel Foley of RecScouting for his take on the late-round option: “Michael Callow is a sturdy-built forward with the vision to play both [wing and] center. His passing is hard and weighted and he has a strong hockey IQ, playing a solid defensive game in the middle lane. Callow has flaws in his skating and is a bit [more] underdeveloped than some draft prospects. But his sturdy frame and two-way ability are well worth a late-round swing for teams confident in their ability to develop him.” 

Rest Of The Bunch

As mentioned, Callow is the best fit amongst a small group of players that did not have a positive fit. There are three other USHS forwards, and those guys are James Fisher, Brennan Ali, and Ben MacDonald. 

Fisher is ranked 99th by Central Scouting among North American skaters after scoring 17 goals and 11 assists for 28 points in 27 games. Playing for Belmont Hill Prep, the 6’2” and 194 pounds forward would be another late-round option. Meanwhile, Ali is the better-known prospect in the bunch, as he has been ranked between 66th (Smaht Scouting) and 103rd (McKeen’s Hockey). He recorded 15 goals and 19 assists for 34 points in 27 games with Avon Old Farms Prep. Finally, MacDonald is ranked only by Central Scouting (50th among North American skaters). That’s after he scored 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points in 22 games. The 6’0” and 181-pound forward played for Noble & Greenough Prep.

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