Young skilled players have always been inexistent on the Tampa roster and prospect page and that has translated to always bubbling on a playoff spot therefore last season G.M. Lamarche decided to try and build through youth rather then always trading and signing for nhl established players. That change of mentality was shown right off the start when the lightning actually made a 1st round draft pick in 2010 in selecting Mikael Granlund. Throughout the season he stood his ground by not being tempted into trading Granlund, a young russian in Evegeni Dadonov and making sure to keep his 1st round pick in 2011 and ensuring to have at least one second round pick. To make an even bigger effort, they traded g.m. favourites Jonas Hiller and Travis Zajac for 4 young key pieces in Michael DelZotto, Mikkel Boedker and Michal Neuvirth who are all under the age of 25 (jason pomminville also came back in the deal.
With all these moves and refusal to make moves, the lightning future does not look as bleak as it once did. In a couple years the lightning hope to skate a lineup of young players looking something like this
Mikkel Bodker Mikael Granlund Joel Armia
Evgeni Dadonov Tomas Fleischman Markus Granlund
Michael Del Zotto Kyle Cummiskey
All these guys are 25 and younger with the exception of fleischman and all have the potential to be top end guys with this team