The Tampa Bay Lightning is hosting a four-team NHL rookie tournament that began 3 p.m. Saturday at Germain Arena in Estero.
There are big names among the crowd at this tournament. Among them are head coaches, general managers, player scouts and, of course, the highly prospected players who want to make a good impression on their respective organizations.
Recently, the Florida Panthers hosted the NHL entry-level draft and were among teams that had a first round pick. Lawson Crouse, 11th overall pick at the draft, was present and skating in the first match-up, which pit the Panthers against the Washington Capitals.
Crouse was given a lot of minutes in the game, and he was not afraid to play physical.
Barry Trotz, the head coach of the Washington Capitals, was also among the crowd before the first period started.
The Washington Capitals were deep in the race for the Stanley Cup this past season, and it saw the development of young players on the team who were a factor in its success.
The state of Florida swept the tournament on day one, with wins from Florida, 2-1 in the SO against Washington and Tampa, 5-1 against Nashville — Tampa and Nashville both participated in a shootout at the end of regulation.
The tournament continues through Tuesday this week. It’s free to the public with concessions, serving food and beverage, available during the events.
Greg Millis, a Florida Everblades season ticket holder, was among the crowd on day one with fellow Blades fans. He has been supporting the Tampa Bay Lightning since its establishment and supporting the Everblades since “day one, about 18 seasons now.”
“I’d like to see some good talent on the Tampa and Florida teams — bring the popularity of hockey in Florida back up.”
To see the remaining tournament schedule, visit the Lighting page for further details including team rosters, which are found on each team’s website.
“I’d like to see what the future holds for all these teams,” Millis said.