Tampa Bay Lightning: Tyler Johnson Making A Case For 2013-14 Roster Spot

By Jonathan Katje
Kim Klement – USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Lightning may not have made the playoffs this season, but their top prospects continue to impress and are headed to the Eastern Conference Finals of the AHL playoffs. Many players on the team saw time with the Lightning this season, and are using the opportunity to make their cases for more playing time next season. Ondrej Palat is leading the team with 14 points, but it is Tyler Johnson leading the team in goals. Johnson has seven goals and 14 points in the postseason, as he tries to help the Syracuse Crunch bring home the Calder Cup. He was part of the Norfolk Admirals team that won the Cup last year, before the Lightning moved their affiliation to Syracuse.

Johnson turned in a second straight impressive AHL campaign, ranking among the league’s best with 37 goals and 65 points. It wasn’t quite the 68 point performance he put together during the 2011-12 season, but it was more impressive considering he spent 14 games with the Lightning this year. Johnson had three goals and six points in those games, and much like Cory Conacher before him has shown an ability to find the back of the net at the highest level. As an undrafted free agent signing, Johnson continues to impress and exceed expectations. He could be a valuable depth addition for the Lightning next season.

Palat ranks second in the league in playoff scoring, while Johnson is third as the Crunch wait to find out who they will face in the next round.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL senior writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.


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