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What to expect from the Lightning in this year’s NHL draft

Tampa Bay has the final picks of the third, fifth and sixth rounds, plus three in the seventh.
Lightning forward Jack Finley, back in white, battles Yanni Gourde during a training-camp scrimmage in January at TGH Ice Plex in Brandon. Tampa Bay made a deal with Montreal in the second round of last year’s draft to move up five spots to take Finley.
Lightning forward Jack Finley, back in white, battles Yanni Gourde during a training-camp scrimmage in January at TGH Ice Plex in Brandon. Tampa Bay made a deal with Montreal in the second round of last year’s draft to move up five spots to take Finley. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Jul. 22
Updated Jul. 22

With the Seattle expansion draft out of the way, the Lightning now turn their attention to the NHL draft.

Unless something crazy happens when the first-round picks are announced Friday, Tampa Bay isn’t expected to enter the conversation until mid-Saturday morning, at the end of the third round.

Here’s a quick primer:

When will the Lightning pick?

The Lightning have six picks in this year’s draft: the final selections of the third, fifth and sixth rounds, plus three choices in the seventh.

Here’s where the team will pick:

Here are the Lightning’s picks for the 2021 NHL draft
Round Pick No. From Team (if applicable)
3 96
5 160
6 192
7 196 New Jersey (2019)
7 211 Nashville (2019)
7 224

Why don’t the Lightning pick higher?

The Lightning traded some of their picks to acquire cap flexibility, which they used to add a key player at the deadline for this season’s playoff run and dealt another to move up in last year’s draft.

In April, Tampa Bay completed a three-way trade with Detroit and Columbus, sending their first-round pick and 2022′s third-rounder to the Blue Jackets, who sent defenseman David Savard to the Red Wings. In exchange for Savard, the Lightning gave up a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft. Columbus and Detroit agreed to cover the cost of Savard’s remaining salary, and Tampa Bay also received AHL defenseman Brian Lashoff from the Red Wings.

“We (essentially) used our draft picks to purchase cap space to acquire a good player and squeeze him onto our team,” general manager Julien BriseBois said at the time. “And I know that we’re going to be a harder out now come playoff time because David Savard is going to be be wearing our jersey.”

Savard was instrumental in the Lightning’s journey to a second straight Stanley Cup, handing out five assists and setting up Ross Colton’s Cup-clinching goal against the Canadiens in Game 5 of the final.

In October, Tampa Bay sent its 2020 fourth-round pick and a second-round pick in 2021 to Montreal to move up five spots in the second round of last season’s draft, to select forward Jack Finley.

The Lightning picked up two additional seventh-round picks in this year’s draft by trading goaltenders Louis Domingue and Conor Ingram in separate deals in 2019. Domingue was was traded to the Devils, the pick conditional upon Domingue playing in at least seven games for New Jersey that season, which he did. Ingram was sent to Nashville.

Notable players with Lightning ties taken in rounds 3-7

Notable players have come out of rounds 3-7 previously?
Player Round Pick No. Year Drafted
Ross Colton 4 118 2016
Anthony Cirelli 4 72 2015
Mathieu Joseph 4 120 2015
Brayden Point 3 79 2014
Ben Thomas 4 119 2014
Carter Verhaeghe (drafted by TOR) (signed with FLA in 2020) 3 82 2013
Cedric Paquette (traded by TBL in 2020 to OTT) 4 101 2012
Jake Dotchin (left TBL in 2018 for a breach of contract) 6 161 2012
Blake Coleman (drafted by NJD) 3 75 2011
Ondrej Palat 7 208 2011
Radko Gudas (traded by TBL in 2015 to PHI) 3 66 2010
Louis Domingue (drafted by ARI Pheonix) (traded by TBL in 2019 to NJD) 5 138 2010
Luke Witkowski 6 160 2008
Alex Killorn 3 77 2007
Anton Stralman (drafted by TOR) (Signed with FLA in 2019) 7 216 2005
Ryan Callahan (drafted by NYR) 4 127 2004
Valtteri Filppula (drafted by DET) (traded by TBL in 2017 to PHI) 3 95 2002
Curtis McElhinney (drafted by CGY) 6 176 2002
Brad Richards (traded by TBL in 2008 to DAL) 3 64 1998

Contact Mari Faiello at mfaiello@tampabay.com. Follow @faiello_mari.

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