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2011 NHL Draft: Tampa Bay Lightning To Target Defense?

The NHL Draft kicks into action tonight, and as always, there's wide speculation on which players certain teams will target. The St. Petersburg Times had a profile of potential draftee Rocco Grimaldi, while SB Nation's mock draft has the Lighting selecting defender Oscar Klefbom with their first round pick.

Are the Bolts likely to select either of these players? The Bolts are weak at defense in their organization, so it's not unsurprising that mock drafts are pointing at Klembom, a defensive player, as targets for them. And sure, it's possible that the bolts select one of Grimaldi or Klefbom, but it's really tough to tell at this point. Drafts are notoriously hard to predict, especially once you get into the late first-round picks, as it's a dynamic process that changes after each and every pick.

So instead of hoping that the Bolts select one particular player, I'm entering the draft with a separate mindset: I want them selecting the best possible player still on the board when their pick comes up, and hopefully that player will be a defender. Will that happen? Well, we'll just have to wait until later tonight to find out.

Lightning picks:

Round 1 -- #27
Round 2 -- #58
Round 5 -- #148
Round 6 -- #178
Round 7 -- #208


When: 7pm EST tonight (Round 1), 11am EST Saturday (Rounds 2-7)
Where: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minn.
TV: Versus (Fri.), NHL Network (Sat.)

For more coverage of the Lightning's selections in the draft, follow SB Nation Tampa Bay on Facebook or Twitter.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.