Richard will make his NHL debut tonight when the slumping Bolts take on the Wings in what should be a testy affair, given 1) Tampa Bay’s recent slide, and 2) the fact these two have met recently in the playoffs, where things have gotten ugly.
It’s little Richard, the 71st overall pick in 2012, is drawing in for the Detroit game.
“I’m pretty hated by most teams in the AHL,” Richard said, per the Bolts website. “So that tells me I’m doing an alright job being a little rat.”
The 23-year-old might’ve made his name as an agitator, but has show some serious offensive upside this season. Richard sits fourth in Syracuse in scoring, with 17 points through 22 games, and is being counted on to provide a lift a Lightning team that’s just 2-7-2 over its last 11 games.
“He deserves this opportunity,” Bolts head coach Jon Cooper said, per the club’s Twitter account. “He competes, and he’ll go to those dirty areas.”