(Image Source: EA Sports)
The Tampa Bay Lightning have appeared poised for the Stanley Cup for a few years now, clocking in a Stanley Cup Finals loss and two Conference Finals losses in the last four seasons, but now it seems almost unfathomable that the Bolts won’t go all the way in 2019. The team is very strong in all areas with many of its stars not even in their prime yet, setting them up for dominance in the years to come – if they play their cards right.
Nikita Kucherov, Right Wing, 91 OVR
Age: 25Role: SniperHeight: 180cmWeight: 81kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: 94 Deking, Passing, Puck Control, Offensive Awareness, Wrist Shot Accuracy
When Steven Stamkos missed the bulk of the 2016/17 season, Nikita Kucherov proved that he was an almighty offensive weapon in his own right. Last season, the Russian wing got to the 100-point mark, notching 39 goals while doing so. Just 49 games into this season, Kucherov has 22 goals and 78 points, set to surpass the century mark once again. His skill in NHL 19 reflects his real-world ability, with immense attributes in shooting, puck skills, skating, and senses.
Victor Hedman, Defenseman, 91 OVR
Age: 27Role: Two-WayHeight: 198cmWeight: 101kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: 93 Defensive Awareness, Shot Blocking, Stick Checking, Balance, Strength
It’s very difficult to argue against Victor Hedman being the best defenseman in the league – unless you’re only going off of NHL 19 ratings. The colossal Swede is exemplary in all phases of the game, with his vision and speed making him look as though he has the power of foresight at times. With 93s for defensive awareness, shot blocking, and stick checking, he can be trusted to guard the defensive end, while his 90 body checking, 93 strength, 90 passing, and 91 slap shot power make Hedman one of the more enjoyable skaters to control in the game.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Goaltender, 88 OVR
Age: 24Role: HybridHeight: 188cmWeight: 94kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: 92 Vision. 90 Angles, Breakaway, Five Hole, Glove High, Rebound Control, Recover, Aggressiveness, Agility, Speed
Only 24-years-old, Andrei Vasilevskiy is having another tremendous season as Tampa Bay’s starter with a .925 save percentage and 2.50 goals against average through 28 starts – missing some time due to injury. With over half of his attributes being in their 90s, it’s just the 83 passing, 80 puck play frequency, 85 poise, and 85 endurance which have pulled his overall rating to a deceptively low 88.
From the Day 1, September 13 update, this is how the Tampa Bay Lightning’s first lines start. The Bolts begin the game with three of the best players in the game, all rated at a whopping 91 overall. These players are so good that the much lower-rated Miller and Girardi would end the first season in the game with great stats.
NHL 19 Tampa Bay Lightning Roster
J.T. Miller (83) – Steven Stamkos (91) – Nikita Kucherov (91)Victor Hedman (91) – Dan Girardi (80)Andrei Vasilevskiy (88)
|Name||Overall Rating||Position/Role||Height||Age||Shoots||Best Stats|
|Steven Stamkos||91||Playmaker Center||185cm||28||Right||94 Offensive Awareness, Deking, Passing, Puck Control|
|Ryan McDonagh||87||Two-Way Defenseman||185cm||29||Left||90 Shot Blocking, Endurance. 89 Slap Shot Power|
|Brayden Point||85||Playmaker Center||178cm||22||Right||92 Acceleration, Agility. 90 Speed, Deking|
|Mikhail Sergachev||84||Two-Way Defenseman||191cm||20||Left||91 Wrist Shot Power. 90 Slap Shot Power. 89 Stick Checking, Balance, Strength|
|Ondrej Palat||84||Left Wing Playmaker||183cm||27||Left||90 Speed, Deking, Agility, Acceleration|
|Anton Stralman||84||Two-Way Defenseman||180cm||32||Right||90 Discipline, Stick Checking. 89 Shot Blocking, Defensive Awareness|
|J.T. Miller||83||Two-Way Left Wing||185cm||25||Left||88 Speed. 87 Deking, Hand-Eye, Stick Checking, Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Strength, Body Checking, Aggressiveness|
|Tyler Johnson||83||Two-Way Center||173cm||28||Right||92 Deking, Agility, Acceleration|
|Alex Killorn||82||Two-Way Left Wing||185cm||29||Left||87 Balance, Speed, Strength, Wrist Shot Power, Slap Shot Power|
|Yanni Gourde||82||Two-Way Left Wing||175cm||26||Left||87 Deking, Passing, Puck Control, Offensive Awareness, Acceleration, Agility, Speed, Slap Shot Power, Wrist Shot Power|
|Dan Girardi||80||Defensive Defenseman||185cm||34||Right||87 Stick Checking, Shot Blocking. 86 Defensive Awareness|
|Braydon Coburn||80||Defensive Defenseman||196cm||33||Left||89 Balance. 88 Shot Blocking, Stick Checking, Strength|
|Jake Dotchin||78||Defensive Defenseman||191cm||24||Right||89 Aggressiveness. 88 Strength, Body Checking|
|Ryan Callahan||78||Right Wing Grinder||178cm||33||Right||88 Aggressiveness, Body Checking. 87 Strength Slap Shot Power, Wrist Shot Power, Balance|
|Cedric Paquette||77||Grinder Center||185cm||25||Left||88 Body Checking, Aggressiveness. 87 Strength, Slap Shot Power, Stick Checking|
|Andy Andreoff||77||Grinder Center||185cm||27||Left||90 Aggressiveness. 88 Body Checking, Strength, Balance|
|Anthony Cirelli||77||Two-Way Center||183cm||21||Left||85 Acceleration, agility, Speed, Durability|
|Adam Erne||76||Left Wing Power Forward||183cm||23||Left||87 Slap Shot Power, Wrist Shot Power, Strength|
|Cory Conacher||75||Left Wing Playmaker||173cm||28||Left||87 Deking, Acceleration, Agility, Speed|
|Louis Domingue||78||Hybrid Goaltender||191cm||26||Right||85 Durability. 84 Angles, Stick Low, Agility, Speed.|
Alexander Volkov, Right Wing, 73 OVR
Age: 21Role: Two-WayHeight: 185cmWeight: 87kgShoots: LeftPotential: Top 9 med
Alexander Volkov isn’t ready to push into this Tampa Bay Lightning team, and by the time that the two-way wing is ready, there likely still won’t be a place for him in this team. Volkov could be used as a scratch option, just in case of an injury crisis, but not much more than that for a while.
The Bolts boast a plethora of incredible and still quite young players in their NHL roster, but there’s even more to come. Two-way defenseman Callan Foote has elite-level potential to headline the prospect pool while Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk are on track to play opposite each other in the bottom six of this team in the coming years.
NHL 19 Tampa Bay Lightning Top Prospects
|Gabriel Fortier||58||Left Wing Sniper||175cm||18||Left||Top 9 low|
|Radim Salda||60||Two-Way Defenseman||185cm||19||Left||Top 6 med|
|Alexei Lipanov||63||Two-Way Center||185cm||19||Left||Top 9 low|
|Callan Foote||67||Two-Way Defenseman||191cm||19||Right||Elite med|
|Oleg Sosunov||61||Defensive Defenseman||203cm||20||Left||AHL Top 2 med|
|Otto Somppi||62||Playmaker Center||185cm||20||Left||Top 9 med|
|Taylor Raddysh||69||Right Wing Power Forward||185cm||20||Right||Top 6 med|
|Boris Katchouk||69||Two-Way Left Wing||185cm||20||Left||Top 6 med|
|Alex Barre-Boulet||62||Playmaker Center||175cm||21||Left||Top 9 med|
|Matthew Spencer||68||Defensive Defenseman||188cm||21||Right||Top 6 med|
|Dennis Yan||70||Left Wing Sniper||185cm||21||Left||Top 9 med|
|Mitchell Stephens||72||Two-Way Center||180cm||21||Right||Top 9 med|
|Erik Cernak||71||Defensive Defenseman||191cm||21||Right||Top 6 med|
|Mathieu Joseph||72||Two-Way Center||183cm||21||Left||Top 9 med|
|Connor Ingram||68||Hybrid Goaltender||185cm||21||Left||Starter low|