Each week this season, ESPN Florida has been highlighting prospects in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization making an impact for their respective teams.
This week’s stars go to:
Sebastien Piche, Charles Landry, and Pat Nagle (Florida Everblades, ECHL)
These three Lightning prospects helped the Florida Everblades to their first Kelly Cup championship last Wednesday when the ‘Blades topped the Las Vegas Wranglers, 3-2, on an overtime goal by rookie Brendan MacLean.
None of the three prospects were drafted by Tampa Bay. Piche was acquired in a trade from Detroit with the Wings’ 2012 first round pick for defenseman Kyle Quincey (previously acquired from Colorado for Steve Downie), Landry was a 2011 free agent signing out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and Nagle was signed as a free agent from Ferris State University last spring.
Of the three, only Piche played in every playoff game for Florida. The defenseman had two goals and nine assists for 11 points in 18 games to go with a plus-10 rating. He had two assists in the finals, coming in games three and four. He led all ECHL players in playoff penalty minutes with 51.
Landry, a defenseman, was a healthy scratch for seven playoff games, including two of the five games in the finals. He was plus-1 in the series clincher, getting a shift in overtime. He finished the playoffs with a goal, two assists, and a plus-7 rating in 11 games.
Nagle filled in for injured goaltender and Carolina prospect John Muse in Game 2 of the second round against Elmira. He stopped all eight shots he faced in relief, then won the next three games of the series, including his first professional playoff shutout. His remained the starter for Game 1 against Kalamazoo in the Eastern Conference Finals and shut out the K-Wings. He took the loss in Game 2, however, allowing three goals on 19 shots. With Muse healthy, Nagle played backup the rest of the playoffs while Muse went on to win Kelly Cup MVP. Nagle finished the playoffs with a 4-1 record, 1.42 goals against average (league leader), .941 save percentage (tied for league lead), and 2 shutouts (league leader).
Landry and Nagle were called up to the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals after the series and will be insurance for the Admirals against Toronto in the Calder Cup finals starting June 1. Piche returned home to Michigan before Florida’s community celebration took place and was not called up to Norfolk.
Congratulations to Piche, Landry, Nagle, former Lightning draft pick Kevin Quick, and the rest of the Everblades for their championship season.
For daily updates of Lightning prospects in all leagues, visit www.boltprospects.com.
(Sebastien Piche photo courtesy of swamphockey.com.)