With the third pick in the NHL draft, the team selecting will basically have their decision made for them. With three players head and shoulders above the rest of the field, the team at #3 will get a good player and not have to think too hard about it.
#3 – TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
TEAM STRENGTHS: Dynamic offensive talent on the wings
TEAM WEAKNESSES: Defensive depth, goaltending questions still
HOCKEY’S FUTURE ORGANIZATIONAL PROSPECT RANK: 9th of 30 teams
UNDER CONSIDERATION: Nathan MacKinnon
FANSIDED MOCK DRAFT PICK: Bolts By The Bay selected Jonathan Drouin.
SENSHOT’S CHOICE: Nathan MacKinnon from the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL. Even if the Lightning had the first pick overall, they might have chosen MacKinnon. In three years, the 1-2 punch up the middle of Stamkos and MacKinnon could be the equavalent of Crosby and Malkin. The Lightning have a number of prospects on the wing in the system, and getting that dynamic centre to eventually replace Vincent Lecavalier (and maybe even improve on him) is the perfect fit for the Bolts. Whether the Lightning get MacKinnon or Drouin (if Florida takes MacKinnon) the Lightning will be better offensively immediately and will have a solid core of young scorers. With the AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, in the AHL finals, there is obviously talent in the pipeline, which is bad news for the new divisional rivals, including the Ottawa Senators.
MOCK DRAFT TO DATE (click on team to view the selection):
|1||COLORADO||Seth Jones, Portland (WHL)|
|2||FLORIDA||Jonathan Drouin, Halifax (QMJHL)|
|3||TAMPA||Nathan MacKinnon, Halifax (QMJHL)|