Next up in our fantasy hockey sleeper series is the Tampa Bay Lightning.
It was a busy off-season once again for the Lightning. They seem to have cap issues every year, which leads to significant moves and this summer was no different.
Gone are, Alex Killorn, Corey Perry, Ross Colton, Ian Cole, Rudolf Balcers, Brian Elliot, and Pierre Edouard-Bellamare. The only incoming name that offers any semblance of fantasy value is Connor Sheary.
With movement, comes opportunity. This opens the door for players to move up the lineup and perhaps finally break out of the AHL.
Let’s take a look at the potential Lightning sleepers.
Fantasy Hockey Sleepers from the Tampa Bay Lightning
Tanner Jeannot (Breakout candidate)
The Lightning paid a boatload to acquire Jeannot at the trade deadline. The price was even more surprising given the down year Jeannot was having in Nashville. Moving to a contender did little to boost his production. He ended with only 4 points in 20 games with Tampa Bay.
His shooting percentage was only 5.6% last year. The year before it was 19.9%. One is too high, one is too low. He should see positive regression this year, which will result in a bounce back.
There’s no shortage of opportunity for Jeannot to bounce back in a big way and step into a more meaningful role. His real value lies in multi-cat leagues where he racks up the hits and penalty minutes, averaging 113 PIM and 304 hits over the last two seasons.
The loss of Alex Killorn leaves a top-six spot open. Sitting at 170 career NHL games leaves him 30 games shy of his breakout threshold. He’ll need to battle Connor Sheary for ice time. It was only a few years ago Tom Wilson was placed on Alex Ovechkin’s line to the surprise of everyone. There are some similarities between Jeannot and Wilson, in terms of style of play.
Keep a close eye on Jeannot. If he lands a top-six spot there he has a legitimate shot at 55 points to go along with 100 PIM and 300 hits.
This must be the third or fourth year in a row that Barre-Boulet has made someone’s sleeper list. Four seasons in a row he has produced .9 points per game or higher in the AHL. Last year he destroyed the league with 84 points in 69 games.
Partly due to Tampa’s depth, he hasn’t been able to make it stick in the NHL. That could change this year due to the number of NHL bodies the Lightning lost. The offensive talent is there. What he hasn’t been able to do to this point is transition his game successfully to the NHL.
As a depth player, you can’t play an incomplete game. He needs to be responsible defensively and keep up with the speed of the game. He should get a real opportunity to win a spot on the third line and the second power-play unit.
Becoming a regular will be the biggest challenge for Barre-Boulet. If he can do that, 45-50 points and double-digit power-play is a realistic stat line.
Raddysh is blockaded by Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev. Those two will chew up the offensive opportunities. Which from the opening puck drop limits Raddysh’s chances to produce.
He broke out in a big way in the AHL last year, with 50 points in 50 games. In the final games of the regular season and in the playoffs against the Maple Leafs, he was a constant threat off the rush on Tampa’s third pair. He should be coming into camp full of confidence and expecting to claim a roster spot from day one.
Every year though, more and more offense is produced from defensemen. They are being relied upon to create offense to a higher degree every year.
Let’s not forget that Hedman and Sergachev have played an extra season in playoff hockey over the last four. Given an opening (injury) Raddysh could fill the offensive void.
More teams are moving back to two defensemen on their power play. Raddysh could find himself as the second defenseman on the second unit. A real sneaky, under-the-radar 40-points is possible
Thanks for reading. Follow me on Twitter @doylelb4; where you’ll find as many hiking musings as you will fantasy hockey.
Make sure to check out all of the sleepers and breakouts of the 2023 fantasy hockey season!
Looking for more great fantasy hockey analysis? Check out our 2023 Fantasy Hockey Draft Kit for team previews, rankings, and all the sleepers you can shake a stick at.