Top 5 Non First Round Draft Picks in Tampa Bay Lightning History


Dec 15, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) skates with the puck against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

In recent years the Tampa Bay Lightning have had success in finding players who they didn’t draft in the first round.

Ahead of the second day of the NHL Draft tomorrow, which will see rounds two through seven happen, we take a look at the five best non first round draft selections in Lightning history.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Ondrej Palat (208th overall, 2011 draft)

A seventh round draft in 2011, Palat is now one of the Lightning’s most important offensive players. He made his NHL debut in the 2012-13 season and then spent all of last season with the Bolts, putting up 59 points in 81 games and finishing second in Calder Trophy voting for NHL Rookie of the Year. He also got a new three-year contract so he’s locked in for the long haul.

Pavel Kubina (179th overall, 1996 draft)

Kubina was a standout defenseman for the Lightning for many years and was an integral part of the team’s cup run in 2003-04. He played 10 years with the Bolts over two separate spells, recording 243 points and is etched as one of the best Lightning defenseman in franchise history.

Brad Richards (64th overall, 1998 draft)

One of the top five players in Lightning history, Richards was a steal for the Bolts at No.64 from Rimouski of the QMJHL. Richards would spend nearly seven years in Tampa, racking up 489 points, 150 of which were goals. The year the Bolts won the cup, Richards won the Lady Byng trophy, and of course the Conn Smythe trophy for playoffs MVP. He still remains a fan favourite of Lightning fans despite being traded away six years ago.

Alex Killorn (77th overall, 2007 draft)

Another of the Lightning’s current young core, Killorn is a stud offensively. In 82 games last season, the Halifax native put up 41 points for the Lightning. Perhaps the most important part of Killorn’s career was attending Harvard for four years where he transformed into a very dynamic offensive player. Like Palat, Killorn got a new deal this offseason so he will sticking around in Tampa for years to come.

Radko Gudas (66th overall, 2010 draft)

It’s no coincidence that three of the five picks on this list are current members of the Lightning, which attributes to how well Al Murray and his team scouts potential talent. Gudas has established himself as a fixture on the Tampa blue line with his hard nose, dominant style of play. He can also get on the scoreboard too as he had 22 points in 73 games last season.