Taylor Raddysh is one of five Tampa Bay Lightning prospects representing Canada at the World Juniors tournament. And the 18-year-old winger is off to a torrid start.
In yesterday’s 10-2 destruction of Latvia, Raddysh scored four times, giving him five goals in three games.
Not surprisingly, Canadian head coach Dominique Ducharme has been pretty darn impressed.
“Shooting the puck, grabbing rebounds, tight areas, tipping pucks,” Ducharme said, per the Canadian Press. “He’s a great goalscorer and to see him gaining confidence is great with these games.”
Raddysh was drafted 58th overall in 2016. He was the third second-round selection the Lightning got to make, thanks to the Anthony DeAngelo trade with Arizona and the Brett Connolly trade with Boston. And in the third round, they took Team Canada goalie Connor Ingram.
The other three Lightning prospects to make the Canadian roster were forwards Mitchell Stephens, Mathieu Joseph, and Anthony Cirelli — all 2015 draft picks.
Granted, playing for Canada at the World Juniors does not guarantee a successful NHL career. But it’s impressive that the Lightning have built up such a stable of prospects, given they haven’t even been close to the draft lottery the last three seasons.
Given their cap situation, they’ll need a few of those prospects to pan out and become contributors on affordable contracts — kind of like they were getting from young Brayden Point before he got hurt.
Point, a third-round pick in 2014, was Canada’s captain at last year’s World Juniors.