NHL: Lightning, Panthers Look to Solidify Future with Draft Picks

By Mike Bonts

NASHVILLE (Florida Sports Wire) –The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning each selected five players during day two of the 2023 National Hockey League Draft in Nashville, Tenn.

On Wednesday, Tampa Bay traded Ross Colton to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for the 37th overall pick in the second round, which they used today to select forward Ethan Gauthier from the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the QMJHL.

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, but also a Canadian national, he ranked fourth on Sherbrooke for scoring with 30 goals and 69 points in 66 games played. Gauthier was traded earlier this month from Sherbrooke to the Drummondville Voltigeurs for three first-round selections in the QMJHL Draft.

In the fourth round, the Lightning traded their previously-acquired fourth-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft to the Nashville Predators in exchange for the 115th overall selection to pick forward Jayson Shaugabay from Warroad High School in Minnesota.

Shaugabay, a 5-foot-9, 168-pound center tallied 33 goals and 96 points in 31 games with Warroad, earning the title of Minnesota Mr. Hockey. He also saw action in 27 games with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL in 2022-23, picking up three goals and 16 points. Shaugabay is committed to play college hockey at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

With the 179th overall selection in the sixth round the Lightning selected defenseman Warren Clark from the Steinbach Pistons of the MJHL. A native of Riverside, Ontario, Clark posted six goals and 38 points in 55 regular-season games.

Clark also saw action in 18 MJHL playoff games and ranked second among rookies in scoring with one goal and eight points, helping his team to an MJHL Championship. The 6-foot-3, 194-pound defenseman is committed to play college hockey at St. Cloud State University.

The Lightning used their first pick in the seventh round, 193rd overall, to select forward Jack Harvey from the Chicago Steel of the USHL. A native of Stacy, Minnesota, Harvey ranked fourth in scoring among all USHL skaters in 2022-23, posting 40 goals and 74 points in 62 games.

The 5-foot-10, 176-pound forward won the USHL Championship with Chicago in 2020-21 and was named to the USHL’s Second All-Star Team in 2022-23. Harvey is committed to Boston University for the 2023-24 season.

With their second pick in the seventh round, 211th overall, the Lightning selected forward Ethan Hay from the Flint Firebirds of the OHL. Hay, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound center, was the 2022-23 recipient of the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award, given to the top academic high school player in the OHL.

A native of Waterloo, Ontario, Hay tallied 17 goals and 28 points in 64 games with Flint this past season, in addition to winning 55 percent of his faceoffs.

The  Lightning have acquired a seventh-round selection in the 2024 NHL Draft from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for pending unrestricted free agent forward Corey Perry.

Florida selected forward Gracyn Sawchyn in the second round (63rd overall), defenseman Albert Wikman in the fourth round (127th overall), goaltender Olof Glifford in the fifth round (159th overall), defenseman Luke Coughlin in the sixth round (191st overall) and forward Stepan Zvyagin in the seventh round (198th overall). 

Sawchyn, 18, appeared in 58 regular season games with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League (WHL) in 2022-23, recording 58 points (18-40-58). He scored 11 points (3-8-11) in 17 postseason games, capturing the WHL Championship for the Thunderbirds.  

The 5-foot-11, 155-pound native of Grande Prairie, Alberta amassed 22 points (8-14-22) in 35 games with the USNTDP (United States National Team Development Program) of the United States Hockey League (USHL) over the 2021-22 season.  

Wikman, 18, played for Färjestad BK throughout the 2022-23 season, appearing in 11 games with Färjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) and 43 games with Färjestad BK J20. Amassing 12 points (2-10-12) in 43 games with Färjestad BK J20, Wikman finished second among team defenseman in penalty minutes with 56.  

The 6-foot-0, 191-pound native of Karlstad, Sweden represented his country at the 2023 U18 World Junior Championships, earning the silver medal.  

Glifford, 18, appeared in 11 games this season with HV71 J18 of the Swedish J18 juniors posting a 2.56 goals against average (GAA) and a .929 save percentage (SV%). In the postseason, Glifford recorded a 2.68 GAA and a .923 SV% in six games played. 

The 6-foot-4, 198-pound native of Husqvarna, Sweden led all Swedish J18 South goaltenders in both save percentage and goals against average for the 2022-23 season. 

Coughlin, 18, appeared in 37 games in the 2022-23 season with Rimouski Océanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), amassing 19 points (5-14-19) in 37 games. 

The 5-foot-10, 172-pound native of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island spent the 2021-22 season with the Océanic skating in 55 games and collecting 18 points (4-14-18).  

Zvyagin, 19, appeared in 37 games with Dinamo-Shinnik Bobruysk of the Molodezhnaya Hockey League (MHL), amassing 33 points (37-14-19). He also appeared in 15 games with Dinamo Minsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).  

The 6-foot, 154-pound native of Moscow, Russia was named the MHL Rookie of the Week on October 31, 2022.  

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