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James Wright added muscle, confidence heading into Tampa Bay Lightning camp

17

September

Got to say there is just something about James Wright you root for. The center is considered a long, long shot to make the Tampa Bay Lightning heading into training camp. But he always will be one of the nicest stories of last season and it is good to see him parlaying his 48 games with the Lightning in 2009-10 into some success.

Wright led the Lightning with six points on three goals and three assists during the four-game prospects tournament in Traverse City, Mich. he also was tied for third in the eight-team tournament in scoring.

"I wasn't too used to that," he joked.

Wright also said he has added about five pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-4 frame, though he weighed in Monday at 200, about four pounds less than last season, so, obviously he is leaner and bigger at the same time.

As for his success in Traverse City, Wright credited playing with Brett Connolly, Carter Ashton (Tampa Bay first-round picks the past two years) and Richard Panik.

"Connolly really excelled," Wright said. "He's got real good puck skills, and both Carter Ashton and Richard Panik are good skill players. They were putting pucks to the net and I was finding rebounds."

As for his success, Wright credited last season's 48-game stint with the Lightning before he was sent back to Vancouver of the junior Western league, where he had six goals, 19 points in 21 games.

"Just practicing up here with these guys makes you that much better of a hockey player," Wright said. "You learn to use your body to protect the puck because guys are so strong you're not going to be able to shield them off with just your strength."

As for Tampa Bay's 16-round shootout win over the Red Wings, GM Steve Yzerman's first over his former team, Wright said, "He just gave us all a 'good game.' I think he was excited about it."

[Last modified: Sunday, October 17, 2010 12:15am]

    

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