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Tampa Bay Lightning

Trade lands big forward

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 23, 2013 at 12:27 AM
MONTREAL -

MONTREAL - Like father, like son.

At least that's what the Tampa Bay Lightning are hoping for after they made a late trade into the first round to select Carter Ashton, son of former NHL forward Brent.

Tampa Bay traded two second-day picks - Nos. 32 and 75 overall - to Detroit to move up three places to 29th, the second-to-last pick of the first round.

A talented scorer, Ashton totaled 30 goals, including 10 on the power play, for Lethbridge of the Western Hockey League last season. He finished with 50 points in 70 games.

General manager Brian Lawton said they had the 19-year-old right wing 11th on their list and had tried to trade up for much of the first round. When they managed to pull the trigger, Lawton got his man.

"I really liked him in the times that I had seen him," Lawton said. "The guys were excited about him the whole way. I played with his father in Minnesota...and the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. He reminds us of a mini-Jordan Staal, if you can say that. He's a real quality guy with a big frame who skates well."

Staal, a former No. 2 overall pick, raised the Stanley Cup this season with the Penguins.

For Ashton, it was a long day of waiting, but it all worth it. He was honored Tampa Bay moved up to select him.

"It was definitely honoring and very exciting to get selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning," Aston said. "It's been a long night and a lot of nerves go through your body, but when it came it was definitely a nice feeling."

Brent Ashton, also a forward, was selected 26th overall in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks. In 998 career games, he had 284 goals and 345 assists for 629 points, with 635 penalty minutes. He also logged 85 playoffs games with 24 goals and 25 assists. He was traded eight times during his career.

According to a Twitter post by Lightning general manager Brian Lawton late Friday, the team had Ashton rated among its top 12 players in the draft, and Lawton worked feverishly to acquire a pick.

It is the first time the Lightning have had two first-round selections.

WELCOME TO THE ZOO: Victor Hedman got a crash course in dealing with the zoo that is Canadian hockey media, or more to the truth, paparazzi. The media scrums below the stands made Sidney Crosby's Stanley Cup dressing room interviews look like child's play. About 30 media members surrounded him, with every word held on to like gold.

CLOSE TO A DEAL: On the Lightning's official Twitter page Friday afternoon, Lawton revealed the team is close to signing D Lukas Krajicek to a one-year contract. Krajicek is scheduled to be a restricted free agent Wednesday.

Acquired from Vancouver at the beginning of last season, Krajicek led Tampa Bay defensemen in games played at 71 while finishing with two goals and 19 points.

NOT RED, WHITE AND BLUE: For the first time since 1993, no American-born players were selected in the top 10 picks of the draft. The first American player chosen was D Nick Leddy, selected 16th overall by the Minnesota Wild.

MIC'D UP: Toronto general manager Brian Burke wore a microphone for the TSN telecast of Friday's first round and was caught discussing a couple of circumstances involving the Lightning.

Early in the evening, Burke was heard talking to Montreal GM Bob Gainey about the possibility of Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier being on the move, suggesting Lecavalier was headed to Gainey's Canadiens or the Islanders. Gainey showed no emotion.

Later, Burke was shown talking to his assistant GM, Dave Nonis, about talks he had with Lawton involving the second pick overall.

"He said we could have the second pick if it included defenseman Luke Schenn," Burke said, "but I still wouldn't have been able to get to Tavares and I would have ended up looking like an idiot."


Erik Erlendsson, Mark Janzen

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