Sep 9, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
Two of Tampa Bay’s brightest young talents were on display during this weekend’s prospects tournament in Coral Springs, Fl., and they pair didn’t disappoint.
Jonathan Drouin — the third overall pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft — and ’11 second-rounder Nikita Kucherov were a force to be reckoned with as Tampa Bay finished the tourney with a 2-0-1 record.
“Drouin and Kucherov were kind of magical out there a few times,” Bolts head coach Rob Zettler — normally the coach with AHL Syracuse — told the team website. “Some really nice chances and an unbelievable goal.”
Kucherov, 20, finished as the tournament’s leading scorer with 4G-3A in three games.
Drouin, 18, only played in two of the three games but assisted on the game-winning goal in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Florida.
It’ll be interesting to see how the two fare in training camp and the exhibition season.
Drouin is an elite-level talent expected to at least get a nine-game look with the Bolts to start the season.
Kucherov has experience playing against pros, having appeared in 18 games for KHL club CSKA Moscow during the 2011-12 season. He also tore apart the QMJHL last season, scoring 63 points in 33 games.
The problem for both, though, is size — Drouin is 5-foot-11 and 176 pounds; Kucherov is 6-foot and 165 pounds.
It might be asking a lot for both to come in and play at the NHL level given their current frames and, what’s more, the Bolts do have other quality youngsters looking to make the leap, including Tyler Johnson, Richard Panik, J.T. Brown, Brett Connolly, Tanner Richard and Vladislav Namestnikov.
- Cory Sarich hospitalized following cycling accident, expects ‘full recovery’ 2
- Stamkos shrugs off talk of LeBron-like homecoming to Toronto in 2016 23
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain 30
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal 34
- Zuccarello takes Rangers’ one year, $3.5M deal 42
- Advancement? Leafs sign Booth for one year, $1.1M 25
- Leafs hire 28-year-old stats advocate as assistant GM 30
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 68
- Stars, Roussel agree on four-year, $8 million deal 3
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation 61
- Babcock fires back over allegations that free agents avoid him (77)
- Babcock: Cleary a ‘calculated risk’ after playing last year ‘on one leg’ (70)
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 (68)
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation (61)
- Report: Zuccarello wants $4.5M per on new deal, Brassard eyeing $5.5M (58)