NHL

How the Lightning Got One of the Greatest Draft Steals of All-Time


To accurately retrace the lineage that has led to Brayden Point becoming the Tampa Bay Lightning’s best player – yeah, I said that – and one of the all-time great draft picks in NHL history, you have to understand how it was a perfect confluence of top-level scouting, draft-day manipulation and the incredible importance of both drafting and developing.

And you have to go back to the spring of 2012. The Moose Jaw Warriors were in the midst of a Western League playoff run that would see them advance to the Eastern Conference final and lose to the Edmonton Oil Kings, who would go on to win the league championship. The Lightning were picking 10 in the draft that year and thought Warriors defenseman Morgan Rielly, who had been limited to just 18 games that season with a knee injury, might fall to them. Lightning director of amateur scouting Al Murray lives in Regina, so he picked up then-Lightning GM Steve Yzerman at the Regina Airport and made the 45-minute drive west to Moose Jaw to see Rielly in action.

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