The Tampa Bay Lightning 2012 Development Camp came to a close Saturday with the top picks in the recent drafts making their mark.
Team (Victor) Hedman faced Team (Martin) St. Louis in the championship.
Team Hedman consisted of 2012 first-round pick Slater Koekkoek, 2011 first-round pick Vladislav Namestnikov, 2011 fifth-round pick Nikita Nesterov and 2012 fourth-round pick Cedric Paquette.
Koekkoek certainly won some respect throughout the three-day event, capped off by a stellar performance in the 3-on-3 title game. The 10th pick in this year's draft scored the game-winner in a shootout to give Team Hedman the trophy.
“It was an awesome experience,” Koekkoek said, per the team's official website. “We got off to a slow start on the day, but made it to the final, and it was cool to win it and go out on top. I don’t think I could have asked for a better way to end camp.”
Koekkoek helped Team Hedman rise to the top of camp in day one and maintain that status through the championship.
Team Hedman's Paquette led all tournament scorers with seven goals. He finished the tournament with nine points, tied with three other prospects: 2012 sixth-round pick Jake Dotchin, 6'8" monster defenseman Andrej Sustr and 2012 third-round pick Tanner Richard.
The Bolts' other first-round pick, goaltender Andrey Vasilevskiy, didn't participate Saturday due to a flight home to Russia.
The camp concluded with the 3-on-3 tournament. The tournament seeding was based on standings points that the groups acquired in the first two days of camp that included skills competitions, drills and conditioning exercises.