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Lightning draft six forwards out of nine picks in NHL draft

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The sure things were all gone. What the Tampa Bay Lightning was left with was maybes.

This player could grow into some one. This player could surprise some people. This person had a particular skill. This guy has certain something. This player, you could imagine developing.

At the end of the draft, this is what remained for Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman. Bargains and flyers, interesting guys and prospects. The Lighting drafted 10 players in this weekend’s NHL draft. No, none of them are going to be called the next Michael Jordan. None of them are stars in waiting.

Instead, the Bolts took some chances.

With the No. 33 pick, the Lighting took center Michael Stephens, who had 22 goals and 58 points in 62 games for Saginaw in the Ontario Hockey League.

With the 44th pick, the Lightning took defenseman Matthew Spencer.

With the 64nd, the Lightning took winger Dennis Yan, who had 67 points in 59 games.

With the 72nd pick, Tampa Bay picked Anthony Cirelli, a center from Oshawa.

With the 118th pick, the Lightning picked Finnish right winger Jonne Tammela.

With the 120th pick, Mathieu Joseph.

At 150, the Lightning took defenseman Ryan Zuhlsdorf.

At 153, the Bolts picked goaltender Kristian Oldham from Anchorage, Alakaska.

At 208, the Lightning selected Bokondji Imama.

In all, the Lightning selectd on goalie, two defensemen and six forwards. It traded its seventh round pick to Edmonton for next year’s.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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