The Tampa Bay Lightning aren’t sure whether Joe Sakic is bluffing or not when he says the Avalanche will be taking a forward, not defenseman Seth Jones, with the first overall pick at the June 30 NHL draft.
“Who knows what they’re thinking?” Darryl Plandowski, the Lightning’s head amateur scout, told the Tampa Bay Times. “I think it’s smart of (Sakic) putting up a little controversy to get conversation going and people thinking. I saw one comment where someone said, ‘That’s a big smokescreen,’ and that might be. But he’s got the No. 1 pick. He can do what he wants.”
What the Lightning do know is that their third overall selection — right after Florida picks second — should nab them a pretty good player regardless.
Certainly, Tampa Bay could use an upgrade on defense if Jones is still available. If not, with Martin St. Louis getting up there in years, winger Jonathan Drouin could make a nice future linemate for Steven Stamkos.
It seems unlikely Nathan MacKinnon will still be available at No. 3, though you never know.