Prospect Pool Rankings

EP Rinkside 2023 Prospect Pool Rankings: No. 32-ranked Tampa Bay Lightning

In a season where the Atlantic Division became a veritable arms race down the stretch, the Tampa Bay Lightning finally ran out of rounds in the chamber. They bowed out to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round, ending a streak of three straight Stanley Cup Final appearances.

Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois tried with all his might to keep the streak alive, even sending a quintet of draft picks the Nashville Predators way for Tanner Jeannot, three 2023 selections among them. The end result is that last year's 32nd-ranked system is, well, stuck in that same spot this year.

Granted, the somewhat surprising, accelerated graduation of Nick Perbix from the team's seventh-ranked prospect to a regular in the Lightning's blue line rotation probably doesn't help their standing. Many thought the former sixth-round pick would need some seasoning in the AHL before making the jump, if he got there at all.

Perbix had other plans, and it's a testament to the Lightning's scouting department that they could unearth such a talent with so late a pick. It's proof that they don't need a bevy of high picks to unearth hidden gems at the NHL Draft.

Which is a good thing, because the Lightning don’t have another first-round pick until 2026. It’s a price that BriseBois has been happy to pay in recent years, and through free agency, he has replenished the Lightning’s bottom-six with NHL veterans for the upcoming season.

But that is only a stopgap, and the pressure remains on the farm to develop the pipeline into serviceable NHLers who can replace the team’s aging depth pieces.

Access this article with EP Premium

Go Premium to access this article

Register your Premium-membership at to get access to this article and more quality, in-depth coverage at EP Rinkside

This article is about:
Prospect Pool Rankings Syracuse Crunch Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Hugo Alnefelt Mitchell Chaffee Dylan Duke Lucas Edmonds Gabriel Fortier Ethan Gauthier Gage Goncalves Isaac Howard Niko Huuhtanen Cole Koepke Connor Kurth Eamon Powell Jayson Shaugabay Jack Thompson McKade Webster Julien BriseBois
Scoring Leaders