Welcome to the first part of a series where I look back on who the Tampa Bay Lightning selected in the draft over the years and where they are now. The first part will take a look back on the Lightning picks from the 2010 NHL Draft.
Although the Lightning had a few guys from this draft go on to appear in the NHL, this draft is viewed by many as a failure for the team. At the time, the Lightning were a team that did not have much success and were relying on building through the draft to become a better team. This draft did not really help them in many ways and many people look back on this draft and shake their heads. Without further ado, let’s take a look back on where the 2010 Lightning draft picks are today.
First Round, 6th Overall
One of only two draftees to ever play a game in the NHL, Brett Connolly has had a nice career and has made a name for himself amongst his peers. Playing his junior hockey career with the Prince George Cougars of the WHL, he managed to collect 152 career points in 142 career games played.
Coming into the 2010 NHL Draft, Connolly was a highly-touted prospect. A skilled player with great vision and a knack for finding the back of the net, he was ranked in the top ten of many scouts rankings heading into the draft.
Making his NHL debut in the 2011-12 season, Connolly managed to play 68 games during his rookie season. During that time, he scored four goals and added 11 assists for 15 points to go along with 30 minutes in penalties. Connolly spent parts of three more seasons with the Lightning before being traded to the Boston Bruins on March 2, 2015.
Connolly’s time with the Bruins was short-lived as he only spent one season there before he signed a deal with the Washington Capitals. Spending three seasons with the Capitals, this was where Connolly managed to make a name for himself, as he helped guide the Capitals to their first-ever Stanley Cup in 2018.
Fast forward to today and Connolly is a middle-six forward playing for the Florida Panthers. Having left the Capitals in free agency in 2019, he found success in his first season playing for the Panthers. Before the season was postponed due to coronavirus, he managed to collect 33 points in 69 games played.
Although he is not a star player that usually gets drafted in the top ten, Connolly has still had a good NHL career. The 28-year old has become a reliable player who gets the job done whenever he steps out onto the ice. He is one of the few successes that come out of that draft for the Lightning and that is definitely a positive.
Third Round, 63rd Overall
The son of former New York Ranger, Jeff Beukeboom, many people were high on Brock Beukeboom heading into the 2010 NHL Draft. Although his stats in junior were not eye-popping, he played the game the right way and was figured to be a mid-round pick.
When the Lightning called Beukeboom’s name, many people were happy. People felt he had a bright future ahead of him and with a few years of development, he could make the transition to the pros. The site Hockey’s Future had this to say about Beukeboom:
Beukeboom is the son of former NHL defenseman Jeff Beukeboom. He is a defensive defenseman that also has some offensive ability and a skill component to his game. Beukeboom can play with a mean streak when warranted but is more of a two-way player than was his father, who was one of the tougher players on the Wayne Gretzky-led Oilers and won four Stanley Cups. The younger Beukeboom, a forward during much of his youth hockey career, has the ability to join the attack and has a hard shot. As expected, he is still dealing with learning the position and is sometimes caught outside the play. And he will need to improve his agility and read-and-respond time as he progresses to pro hockey. Beukeboom has a strong work ethic and is constantly seeking to improve.
Fast forward a few years and all of those projections were never made true. Beukeboom never signed with the Lightning and ended up playing university hockey at the University of Prince Edward Island. In four years there, he managed to collect 24 points in 96 games played. After spending a season playing in the ECHL with three different teams, Beukeboom headed overseas.
In 2018-19, Beukeboom had the best offensive output of his career playing for Fehervari Titanok (Erste Liga) where he scored 17 goals and added 26 assists for 43 points in 51 games played. That output got him a contract with the Odense Bulldogs (Denmark) where in 48 games played this past season, he scored four goals and added 14 assists for 18 points.
Beukeboom is slated to play for the Frederikshavn White Hawks in 2020-21. To wrap things up, although Beukeboom never played a game in the NHL and was never viewed as a successful draft pick, he is still remembered to this day. He was included in the trade that saw the Lightning acquire Eric Brewer from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for his rights and a third-round pick (which turned out to be Jordan Binnington). Even though he will most likely never play a game in the NHL, it will certainly be interesting to see where his career goes from here.
Third Round, 66th Overall
The only other player drafted by the Lightning to play a game in the NHL, Radko Gudas has made a name for himself in the league. A physical defender who is known for his big hits, Gudas played junior hockey in his native Czech Republic with HC Kladno before coming overseas and playing one season in the WHL with the Everett Silvertips.
Turning pro in 2010-11, Gudas spent two seasons playing for the Norfolk Admirals, the AHL affiliate of the Lightning at the time, before making the jump to the NHL in 2012-13. In his rookie season, he managed to score two goals and added three assists for five points in 22 games played. Gudas played parts of two more seasons before being traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Braydon Coburn and draft picks.
Gudas became a middle-pairing defender for the Flyers, spending four seasons donning the orange and white. While with the Flyers, he collected 58 points in 290 games played before being traded to the Washington Capitals last summer in exchange for Matt Niskanen.
All in all, although Gudas is not a star defender or capable of putting up a ton of points, he still serves a purpose on the ice. His teammates know that he will stick up for them whenever there is a fight or a post-whistle scrum and they definitely feel safer while he is in the lineup. He still accomplished every hockey player’s dream of playing in the NHL and we have to give credit where it’s due.
Third Round, 72nd Overall
Adam Janosik is another Lightning draft pick that never suited up in an NHL game. He played his junior hockey for the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL where he collected 22 goals and added 77 assists for 99 points in 174 games played.
A solid prospect, many scouts thought Janosik could turn into a solid defender given proper time to mature and develop in the minors. That was never the case though as Janosik returned home to the Czech Republic after not being signed by the Lightning.
In 2012-13, he suited up for Bili Tygri Libanec of the Czech league and spent two seasons playing for them. He then went to Slovakia to play for HC Kolsice for one season before returning home and signing with Pirati Chomutov for the 2014-15 season. While playing for Pirati Chomutov, he collected 14 points in 40 games played.
Janosik played in the Czech league with different teams for three more seasons before he signed with HC Slovan Bratislava of the KHL in 2018. In his only season in the KHL, he scored one goal and added four assists for five points in 56 games played.
Janosik has bounced around leagues from that time on and is slated to play for IK Oskarshamn of the SHL this upcoming season. He will most likely never make the NHL but he has had a pretty solid career playing pro overseas.
Fourth Round, 96th Overall
Schemitsch is the first guy on this list who is no longer playing hockey and never made it to the pros. Having been a solid junior player for the Owen Sound Attack during his draft year, the Lightning decided to take a chance on him in the fourth round.
Labelled as a project, Schemitsch never ended up signing with the Lightning. He spent the next two seasons playing for the Attack before being traded to the Oshawa Generals and finishing his junior career with them. Over the course of his junior career, he managed to collect 13 goals and 106 assists for 119 points in 222 games played. (from ‘Generals do well to improve blue-line in advance of OHL trade deadline’, Durham Region – 01/10/12)
He committed to Acadia University in 2013 and spent the next five years logging big minutes from the backend. Over the course of his university career, he collected 13 goals and 53 assists for 66 career points in 111 career games played. He retired from the game of hockey in 2018 and is now leading a normal life while living in Toronto.
Fourth Round, 118th Overall
The second retired player on this list, Jimmy Mullin did manage to make it to the pros, although very briefly. A skilled forward, Mullin had a great year in 2009-10. Playing for the renowned Shattuck St. Mary’s Midget Prep team, he put up 72 points in 55 games played and attracted the Lightning’s attention.
While the Lightning did select him, they never signed him and he ended up going to play for Miami (OH) University in 2011-12 after having spent one season playing for the Fargo Force of the USHL. Over his five-year collegiate career, split between Miami (OH) and Minnesota State University (Mankato), he managed to score 20 goals and added 37 assists for 57 points 125 games played.
He caught the attention of the Kalamazoo Wings, the ECHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks and signed with them prior to the 2016-17 season. He didn’t end up playing during the 2016-17 season but did return the following year. (from ‘ Forward Jimmy Mullin re-joins K-Wings for 2017-18’, mlive.com – 07/06/17) In 2017-18, he had an incredible year, collecting 45 points in 68 games played but was nagged by injuries. He only managed to get into nine games in 2018-19 and was forced to retire from hockey for good.
He did not miss a beat though as he was named head coach and director of the Indy Jr. Fuel of the NAPHL 18U and well as a scout for the Fargo Force of the USHL last season. Although those positions only lasted a season, he was recently named a scout for the Chippewa Steel of the NAHL. His career ended sooner than he hoped, but Mullin is back doing what he loves and will look to have a long career behind the scenes.
Sixth Round, 156th Overall
While many sixth-round picks may not go on to have long pro careers, that is certainly not the case for Brendan O’Donnell. Although he never made it to the NHL, he has carved out a name for himself overseas.
After playing his junior hockey with the Winnipeg South Blues of the MJHL and the Penticton Vees of the BCHL, O’Donnell was committed to the University of North Dakota. Spending his next four years there, he scored 27 goals and add 28 assists for 55 points in 121 career games played.
After his collegiate career was done, O’Donnell signed with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL. He spent two seasons playing for them where he collected 117 points in 114 games played. Seeing brighter pastures overseas, O’Donnell chose to sign with the Kunlun Red Star of the KHL. He only managed to collect two assists in 25 games played so he was not re-signed.
Over the past two seasons, O’Donnell has bounced from the Liiga, to the EBEL and then finally the Czech league where he spent this past season playing for Rytiri Kladno. In 51 games played, he scored 14 goals and added 16 assists for 30 points. He has yet to sign with anyone next season but it will be interesting to see where he ends up next.
Although he has never played a game in the NHL, he has made a living off of playing hockey and that is the dream of thousands of people. He deserves credit for making it this far and it will be exciting to see where he goes next.
Seventh Round, 186th Overall
Playing his junior hockey for the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL, Teigan Zahn was not on many people’s draft lists in 2010. A third-year eligible player, Zahn did not have the best numbers when he got drafted. Playing in 44 games for the Blades, he only managed to collect three assists to go along with 84 penalty minutes.
Be was never considered an offensive defenseman by any means. Zahn could fight and play a physical game which was still a good thing back then. The Lightning decided to take a chance on him but they never ended up signing him to a contract.
After finishing his junior career, Zahn went to play hockey at the University of Calgary. In one season, he scored three goals and added 12 assists for 15 points in 27 games played. He ended up signing an AHL contract with the Oklahoma City Barons but only played five games before being sent down to the ECHL.
From 2012-13 to today, Zahn has bounced around to the Utah Grizzlies and the Colorado Eagles and has been a solid player from the backend. In his eight seasons playing in the ECHL, he has managed to score 29 goals and collect 71 assists for 100 points in 435 games played. His career highlights included being an assistant captain on two Kelly Cup championship teams, coming in 2016-17 and 2017-18.
Although most seventh-round picks don’t make the NHL, Zahn should feel content with his accomplishments as he has gone on to play close to a decade of professional hockey. While it is every player’s dream to play in the NHL, Zahn should be proud of what he has accomplished on and off the ice.
Not the Best Draft
While it is impressive that seven of the Lightning’s eight picks are still playing professional hockey somewhere around the world, this draft was far from good for them. They did end up drafting two players that had an impact in the NHL but they no longer play for the Lightning. No one on the current roster is from the 2010 NHL Draft. Considering how great their drafting has been over the years, the Lightning most likely wish to forget about this draft and move on.