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Lightning appears to have side deal to protect young defensemen

  • Jake Dotchin, 23, helped solidify the top-four in the second half of last season.
  • Hearing the Lightning has a side deal with the Vegas Golden Knights to protect one or more of its young defensemen.
  • But it certainly makes sense for Tampa Bay to try to find a way to hold onto both Slater Koekkoek and Jake Dotchin, both of whom were left unprotected.
  • Dotchin, 23, helped solidify the top-four in the second half of last season, joining Victor Hedman in the top pairing.
  • The Lightning also has two second round picks in this year’s draft.

Hearing the Lightning has a side deal with the Vegas Golden Knights to protect one or more of its young defensemen.

@TBTimes_JSmith: More on hearing #tblightning has side deal with Vegas to protect one or more of its young d-men

Those types of trades won’t be announced until Wednesday, so details aren’t available yet. GM Steve Yzerman neither confirmed nor denied whether he has a side deal.

“It’s not something I’d share publicly at this time,” Yzerman told the Times.

But it certainly makes sense for Tampa Bay to try to find a way to hold onto both Slater Koekkoek and Jake Dotchin, both of whom were left unprotected.

Dotchin, 23, helped solidify the top-four in the second half of last season, joining Victor Hedman in the top pairing. Koekkoek, 23, was the 10th overall pick in 2012, and had a strong finish to the season in AHL Syracuse and should get a shot to crack the lineup next season. Both are restricted free agents.

The Lightning protected Hedman, Stralman and Braydon Coburn as the third ‘D’.

As for the return, the Lightning could package a veteran defenseman – like a Jason Garrison or Andrej Sustr – with a prospect. Tampa Bay has several young promising forward prospects in their system coming out of junior. The Lightning also has two second round picks in this year’s draft.

Lightning appears to have side deal to protect young defensemen

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