Seth Griffith Invited to Tampa Bay Lightning Training Camp
Only hours after being passed over in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, things are looking up for Wallaceburg’s Seth Griffith. Rated as the 158th ranked North American skater headed into Saturday’s NHL draft, Griffith, who’s agent had been contacted by several NHL teams prior to the draft, was not selected as one of the 210 players taken.
Most years, the final rounds of the NHL draft, team’s typically focus on selecting long term projects that play either in Europe, or will be entering the US college ranks. Due to the collective bargaining argeement, NHL teams are allowed to keep the rights to these players longer without tendering a contract. This leaves many North American skaters, such as Griffith, undrafted and looking for NHL tryouts.
Last season, the Tampa Bay Lightning finished 5th in the Eastern Conference with 103 points. Tampa Bay was then eliminated in game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. When it comes to smaller, skilled players, such as Seth Griffith, who went undrafted, Griffith doesn’t have to look far when it comes to the Tampa Bay Lightning to see a prime example of what is possible for a player in his situation.
Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis was undrafted in his year of NHL eligibility, however signed a free agent contract after a tryout with the Calgary Flames. Last season, St. Louis finished second in NHL scoring, and is annually in the top 10 in league scoring. Over his career thus far, St. Louis has represented Canada at the Olympics, World Cup, and World Championships, won the Lady Byng Trophy twice as the NHL’s most sportsmanlike player, won the 2004 Stanley Cup, and has also won the Art Ross (NHL’s Leading Scorer), Lester B Pearson Award (MVP voted by the players), and Hart Trophy, as the NHL’s MVP.
Training camps for the NHL get underway in the early fall. Next season, despite the NHL tryout invitation, Griffith is expected to return to the OHL’s London Knights. Continue to follow CKSN for an interview with Seth Griffith later this week.