Tampa Bay Lightning 1st round pick in the 2011 draft (#27 overall), Russian-born rookie center Vladislav Namestnikov(18) starts his pro career with their AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch. Not that he had a chance to begin in the NHL with the lockout erasing all of 2012.
Seemed a bit peculiar that he wasn’t invited to attend the Lightning‘s shortened training camp but they probably thought it was better for their young prospect to continue uninterrupted development with their farm team.
The 6’ 170 lbs. forward did suffer a fairly bad shoulder injury only a few contests into his 2012/2013 debut that sidelined him for 5 weeks.
Returning to action as the calendar flipped to a new year, the 20-year old has skated in 14 games scoring a pair of goals and 3 assists.
He’s pegged to become an elite power forward in the top league and despite playing at a weight that’s probably 15-20 pounds under where he should be, he muscles his way into situations and looks to have the abilities to turn into what’s projected for his future.