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Lightning journal: Center prospect Alex Barre-Boulet shows his scoring chops

Center Alex Barre-Boulet, at  Lightning development camp in June, was the player of the year in the junior Canadian Hockey League last season. The undrafted free agent is expected to be with AHL Syracuse this season. (DIRK SHADD | Times)
Center Alex Barre-Boulet, at Lightning development camp in June, was the player of the year in the junior Canadian Hockey League last season. The undrafted free agent is expected to be with AHL Syracuse this season. (DIRK SHADD | Times)
Published Sep. 16, 2018
Updated Sep. 16, 2018

BRANDON — C Alex Barre-Boulet did not want to try a complicated move. Not with Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy between him and the net.
So Barre-Boulet went with old reliable as he drew close to the Lightning goalie.

"It is a move I use pretty often," he said. "Back on my junior team, I was using it a lot. It worked pretty often."

And it worked Sunday. Barre-Boulet scored the only goal in the shootout period after a scrimmage at the Ice Sports Forum in which both teams scored once.

"I was looking if there was a hole or something like that," Barre-Boulet said. "It saw it, and as soon as I saw it, I shot it."

Vasilevskiy might not have stopped this shot, but without his heroics late in the scrimmage, there would not have been a shootout. Vasilevskiy stopped multiple shots in a short time in the final minutes of the period.

Barre-Boulet, an undrafted free agent, was the player of the year in the junior Canadian Hockey League last season. In 65 games for Blainville-Boisbriand of the CHL's Quebec Major Junior League, he scored 53 goals and had 63 assists. He also finished with 27 points in 19 playoff games.

It can be difficult for the coaching staff to gauge where prospects are at right now because it has seen them skate and play only a handful of times a couple of days into training camp. Barre-Boulet, 21, has already made an impression on coach Jon Cooper, though.

"When he is around the net, he knows how to put it in the back of the net," Cooper said. "That is what we have kind of witnessed so far."

Barre-Boulet is expected to spend time with AHL Syracuse this season.

Colton scores again

It would not have been possible for Barre-Boulet to showcase his shootout abilities without a goal from C Ross Colton.

Colton scored the first goal of the scrimmage, his second over the past two scrimmages. Sunday he scored off a rebound. Saturday, the 2016 fourth-round draft pick flew down the ice as a defenseman failed to keep up.

"Ross showed one heck of a burst of speed (Saturday) in the scrimmage," Cooper said. "He makes plays like that and you make a good impression on the coaching staff."

Colton played for the University of Vermont the past two seasons. In 69 games, he scored 28 goals and added 22 assists.

 Preseason for the crowd, too

RW Nikita Kucherov stepped onto the ice before any other player minutes before the scrimmage. Several fans who lined the outside of the ice noticed. They respond with a "KUUUCH," but it was much more of a murmur than a chant. Good thing the regular season is a few weeks away. The "Kuch" chant needs work.