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Breaking down Lightning defenseman Nick Purbicks ahead of his NHL debut

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Tampa Bay Lightning defense prospect Nick Purvix is ​​set to make his NHL debut tonight after it was announced that defenseman Philip Myers will be sidelined with an injury.

But who is Nick Purbicks? What should we look for tonight and in the subsequent games he plays for the Bolt?

Purbicks, 24, is a 6-foot-4 right-shot defenseman drafted by Tampa Bay in the sixth round of the 2017 NHL Draft. Fresh off his four years of NCAA hockey at Cloud State, he joined the Syracuse Crunch at the end of the 2022 season.

Purbix in the spotlight is a member of three St. Cloud teams that have participated in the NCAA Hockey Tournament and finished runner-up in the 2021 tournament. Additionally, he played for Team USA in his 2022 Olympics.

Purbicks topped the college level last season with six goals and 25 assists in 31 games. After that, in 12 games he tallied 2 goals and 6 assists and transitioned to his level professionally with Crunch without problems.

Looking at what Purbicks does best as a player, his passing ability immediately stands out. Here, he records a major assist by finding his man open in front of the net during the Olympics.

Another advantage of the Purbix is ​​that it’s comfortable to jump into play in the offensive zone and slide with the puck on the stick.

Purbix has an effective okay shot to get the puck into the net, but can be difficult to score from far away. I have a hand to make something happen.

One area Perbix may have trouble in the NHL is defending around the net. That he skates well on offense and has the size to clear players from in front of the net, but struggles at times to prevent opponents from skating around him and getting a good view of the net I noticed.

To be fair, the example above was one of his worst accidents (and a huge effort by a Hershey player) in a short AHL stint last season. However, there were still signs in his first two games of the crunch this season that improvement was needed in this area for Perbix. So expect the coaching staff to protect him early on so he can adapt to NHL speed.

The attempt to stake Perbix’s claim begins tonight, as only Erik Cernak signed a long-term deal on the Lightning’s defensive right side.