In Prospect Profiles, we’ll take a look at a Lightning prospect and introduce you to them. These players represent the possible future of the Lightning. If you’re interested in seeing into the future, then this is for you.
Name: Adam Erne
Position: Left and Right Wing
Weight: 210 pounds
Nationality: United States
Junior Team: Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
2016-17 Team: Syracuse Crunch (AHL)
Acquired: 2013 Draft, 2nd Round, 33rd overall
Drafted by the Lightning in 2013, Adam Erne is a wide, solidly built power winger. He’s not afraid to hit, he uses his strength and skating to get around opposing defensemen and he wins battles along the wall. With proper development, Erne can develop into a player that’s not that dissimilar to an Alex Killorn type. A middle-six, half point per game winger that can produce on the power play would be a successful outcome from Erne and the Lightning. The biggest question is his defensive game as that will need to continue to improve to earn the trust of the coaches and organization.
Erne started his junior career in 2010-11 with the Indiana Ice of the USHL. He was drafted in the QMJHL draft by Halifax in the 2nd round and then traded to the Quebec Remparts. Erne ended up bringing quite a haul for Halifax as they acquired two first round picks and a second round pick. Quebec made the trade as they had a solid team that included now current NHLers Mikhail Grigorenko, Anthony Duclair and Louis Domingue.
However, Quebec would not make a lot of noise in the playoffs until Erne’s fourth and final season with the team. The team was set to host the Memorial Cup and lost in the Finals of the QMJHL Championship. While Erne had a solid Memorial Cup tournament with 6 points in 5 games tied for 2nd in the tournament, the Remparts lost in the Semi-Final game, finish 3rd.
Through his four seasons in the QMJHL, Erne posted point totals of 55, 72, 62, and 86 for a total of 1.15 points per game through his career. He also played for Team USA in the U20 World Junior Championship in 2013-14, but only had 1 assist in 5 games. He was then surprisingly left off the team the next season.
Erne made his AHL debut during the 2013-14 season as the Remparts were knocked out early in the playoffs. In 8 games for the Syracuse Crunch, he had 4 points. It was a preview of what we might see from the young winger. His full time debut came in 2015-16. He unfortunately broke a bone in his wrist early in the season which derailed him. In 59 games he contributed 29 points for the Crunch and was tied for a team worst negative-18 plus-minus rating.
Erne has a strong chance at making the Lightning in the next couple seasons but for now will continue to develop in the AHL. 2016-17 will be a season that the organization and fans should expect him to make a big step forward. His defensive game needs to come around and improve. He needs to continue to develop his offense as a power forward. If he can get up around the point per game mark this season, it will greatly improve his chances for a recall in the second half of the season or for possibly making the Tampa Bay roster in 2017-18.