Despite the rankings that put the Tampa Bay Lightning’s prospect pool near the bottom of the NHL, the team saw three prospects that play for the Syracuse Crunch selected for the AHL All-Star contest. The significance of this is that the Crunch were one of only three teams with three players selected for this contest, which will take place on Feb. 6 in Laval, Quebec.
One of the keys to this is that the three players — Darren Raddysh, Gabriel Dumont, and Alex Barre-Boulet — have been playing well enough to provide the Lightning added depth if the need arises in the second half of the season. The Lightning have been identified as a team that may want to add some depth at the trade deadline, but the lack of prospect depth and the lack of room with the salary cap may make a trade very difficult. Whether a trade happens or not, these three players could end up being essential depth pieces for the team in the second half of the season.
The 25-year-old recently broke the Syracuse franchise record for most points by a Crunch player with his 242nd point. Currently, he has 44 points on 10 goals and 34 assists in 35 games. Barre-Boulet was recalled in November 2022 by the Lightning and appeared in one game, logging ten minutes of ice time against the St. Louis Blues before getting reassigned to Syracuse. The native of Quebec has played in 32 NHL games with the Lightning and Seattle Kraken, recording six goals and nine points.
While a bit small at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, he makes up for his lack of size with his skating quickness and tenacity. His recent success at Syracuse could indicate that he is ready to be a regular contributor in the NHL. The Lightning originally signed Barre-Boulet as a free agent on March 1, 2018. He was claimed off waivers by Seattle on Oct. 11, 2021, and then re-claimed by the Lightning 11 days later on Oct. 22.
The Syracuse captain has been a solid leader on and off the ice for the Crunch, supporting the six rookies on their roster and contributing 10 goals this season. This effort has not gone unnoticed by the rest of the AHL, as Dumont and Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Brian Lashoff have been selected as the playing captains for the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic. In addition to his 13 years in pro hockey, he has played 90 games in the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Minnesota Wild, and the Lightning.