Added first-round pick gives Lightning more options
With the Rangers pulling off their comeback Tuesday night and reaching the conference final, that means the Lightning will receive an additional first round pick in June's draft (instead of a second-rounder), per conditions of the Ryan Callahan-Marty St. Louis deal.
The fact ex-Lightning stars Brad Richards and St. Louis teamed up on the go-ahead goal in New York's 2-1 victory in Game 7 over the Penguins only added to the irony.
So now the Lightning will have two first-round picks in both June's draft and next year's draft. While Tampa Bay could very well use all those picks on prospects, it also gives them options if they want to dangle a pick or two in trade scenarios.
The Lightning still has some needs to fill for next season, whether that means finding another top defenseman, or bringing in some more toughness overall. And if Tampa Bay is unable to re-sign Callahan, it'll likely need another top-six forward. Or, since the Lightning will pick in the No. 18 range (and 26-29th) for their second first-round pick, they could try to move up.
General manager Steve Yzerman now just has a few more picks up his sleeve.