The Lightning farm system is stocked with talented up-and-coming forwards.


Many have made their mark on the organization the last two seasons in the American Hockey League while making back-to-back runs to the Calder Cup Final. A few - Alex Killorn, Tyler Johnson, Richard Panik, Ondrej Palat - have already shown that a future in the NHL appears to be in the cards while the likes of Nikita Kucherov, Tanner Richard and Cedric Paquette are expected to fall in line this season with Syracuse in the AHL.


But the list of top Lightning prospects goes beyond some of the top names already entrenched in the system.


Take Matthew Peca, a seventh-round pick in 2011 who's the sort of late-round pick teams are always hoping to find.


The Lightning selected the 5-foot-9 forward from the Junior A Pembroke Lumber Kings of the Canadian Junior Hockey League, where he played under former Tampa Bay forward Sheldon Keefe.


"We felt that he was kind of a hidden gem," said Lightning director of amateur scouting Al Murray. "Every time we watched Matthew in his draft year he was the most talented guy on the ice and most competitive guy on the ice in all 200 feet with and without the puck."


To this point in Peca's journey, he is proving the Lightning right in their evaluation.


Peca recently completed his sophomore year at Quinnipiac University, which sat atop the NCAA rankings for most of the season and advanced to the NCAA title game before being knocked off by Yale.