NHL releases official draft positions
The NHL on Thursday released the official selection positions for the June 25-26 draft in Los Angeles. Just for the record the Tampa Bay Lightning picks are (with the rounds in parenthesis) 6 (1), 63 (3), 66 (3), 72 (3), 96 (4), 118 (4), 156 (6), 186 (7).
General manager Steve Yzerman did not completely rule out using the No. 6 overall pick in a trade, but considering what it would cost to move up and that the team's chronic lack of organizational depth in terms of skaters means keeping draft picks and prospects is that much more important, he called the chance of a deal "remote."
Yzerman said his sense is not to draft based on any desire to fill a specific need. He prefers to pick the best player available, though considering the team's depth in net -- Mike Smith, Jaroslav Janus, Dustin Tokarksi, Riku Helenius, Karri Ramo (if he resigns) and big Russian Vasily Koshechkin (if he signs), goalie is probably not a first-round priority. Then again, you never say never to anything.
Some names to keep in mind at the No. 6 spot are center Alexander Burmistrov (Barrie, OHL); defenseman Cam Fowler (Windsor, OHL), defenseman Brandon Gormley (Moncton, QMJHL), right wing Brett Connolly (Prince George WHL), defenseman Erik Gudbranson (Kingston, OHL), left wing Nino Niederreiter (Portland, WHL) and 6-foot-5, 198-pound defenseman Derek Forbort (USHL).