What the Tampa Bay Lightning need isn’t a question. What they will get is. For mysterious reasons they traded for Keith Aulie late in the year. The big blueliner didn’t even manage to crack the Toronto Maple Leafs roster. For him they gave up a top scoring forward. They also recently added an unproven goaltender who arguably will get the lions share of the crease duty this season just for showing up.
Last seasons edition of the Tampa Bay Lightning finished tied for eighth in goals for and yet somehow had the 25th ranked powerplay. No, I can’t explain it either. Defensively they finished dead last in the league. They allowed 19 more goals than 29th place.
As owners of the tenth and nineteenth pics in the first round they might be able to move up if the choose, but taking two of this drafts top defensemen to aid Eric Brewer in some of the heavily lifting defensively would be a smart move. That said a two way forward added to the top six isn’t anything to sneeze at.
Nicolas Kerdiles, and Zemgus Girgensons, are possible forward pickups. Oscar Densk is a netminder who’s name has gotten some buzz. Defensmen Dalton Thrower, Slater Koekkoek, and Ryan Murray if he does some sliding could all bolster a sieve of a blueline.
A potential spanner in the mix for this team is what to do in preparing for a future without the now 37 year old Martin St Louis. I don’t think this is the year to go after a replacement, but if for example they traded both the 10 and the 19, for the 1 that would provide a good offensive reserve if they land Yakupov. An offense that featured Yakupov and Stamkos would have a lot to say for itself.