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Lightning’s Steve Yzerman trades out of the first round of NHL’s draft

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If the Tampa Bay Lightning proved any point at all during its run to the Stanley Cup Finals, it was this:

In hockey, the way a player is developed can often count more than where he was drafted.

Perhaps that was what general manager Steve Yzerman was thinking late Friday night when the Lightning traded out of the first round of the NHL draft. The Lightning held the 28th overall draft pick (having traded the 29th pick earlier in the Braydon Coburn deal), but opted to move backward to pick up an extra selection.

The Bolts will pick third in today’s second round of the draft (as well as 14th). It picked up a pick in the third round (72nd overall) to move backward.

Is there a method in the madness? Perhaps. The Lightning has Ondrej Palat, a player it obtained in the seventh round of the draft, and Tyler Johnson, a player who went undrafted. If Tampa Bay didn’t like the players it had left to pick from, moving down a few picks didn’t seem like that great a price to pay.

Rounds 2-7 will be held today. The Lightning will have two second-round picks, two thirds, two fourths, a fifth, two sixths and a seventh.

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

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