Syracuse Crunch

Bolt Prospects 2012-2013 Midterm Prospect Rankings

By Pete Choquette

It's been a long, strange trip for Bolt Prospects to arrive at this year's Midterm Prospect Rankings. Between the end of the NHL lockout and an abbreviated training camp, call-ups, graduations, and trades, there's been a lot of movement in the rankings. One lesson learned from the first half of this season: no more standing still for Lightning prospects. Even first and second round picks can't afford to stagnate in their development with so much quality depth within the organization. More than that, the youth movement is already beginning in Tampa Bay with three prospects currently up with the Lightning and recently graduated Keith Aulie also with the NHL club.

AHL Game Night: 2-18-13 Crunch at Devils

The return of The Entertainer.

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Cedrick "The Entertainer" Desjardins made his Crunch debut stopping 23 of 26 for the win. Riku Helenius, who was named the AHL Player of the Week, got the night off.

First Period
SYR Tyrell, (3) (Hutchings, Angelidis), 9:40
SYR Johnson, (24) (Palat, Cote), 10:14
ALB Sislo, (3) (Zalewski, Urbom), 14:32 (PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
SYR Johnson, (25) (Wyman), 3:45
ALB Zalewski, (9) (DeSimone, Urbom), 7:26
SYR Johnson, (26) (Palat, Korobov), 14:27 (PP)
ALB Josefson, (9) (Gelinas, Anderson), 18:28
SYR Connolly, (22) , 19:57 (EN)

Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat (pictured) were the game's first and third stars. Palat's 29 assists are tied for 6th most in the league while Johnson is now tied for the lead in goals.

So, after a month of struggling to regain their equilibrium, lookee at the standings and Syracuse is right back on top of the Eastern Conference standings, moving 1 point ahead of Bingo and Springfield. Jon Cooper = Jedi. Syracuse draws the Toronto Marlies on Wednesday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-17-13 Crunch at Penguins

Riku is hulking up.

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Riku Helenius (pictured) stopped all 23 shots he faced for his 2nd shutout in the past 3 games and his 4th shutout of the season. He's allowed just 1 goal over the span of those 3 games. We've seen this before with Helenius, when he had a string of shutouts early in the season for JYP en route to backstopping them to a SM-liiga title. His save percentage is still just .891 for the season, and the Lightning just acquired Cedrick Desjardins for a reason, but when Riku starts getting on a roll like this, he can be unbelievable.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
SYR Wilson, (2) (Labrie), 2:02
SYR Connolly, (21) (Palat, Johnson), 3:25
SYR Wilson, (3) (Johnson, Palat), 11:44

Helenius, Kyle Wilson, and Brett Connolly were the game's three stars.

Syracuse draws Albany tomorrow night as they try to run down Springfield and Binghamton for the conference lead.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-15-13 Crunch at Senators

Jon Cooper must be a Jedi.

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Riku Helenius (pictured) allowed 1 goal on 34 shots for the victory. His season save percentage is still languishing at .885, but he's only allowed 1 goal over his last 2 starts and has stopped 56 of 57 shots in that span. There's not a huge opening for Helenius, but with Tokarski gone, if he can take the #1 job in Syracuse and run with it for a great second half and a deep playoff run, he could set himself up to the NHL.

First Period
SYR Connolly, (20) (Tyrell), 3:51 (PP)
SYR Wyman, (7) (Gudas), 5:36
SYR Hutchings, (1) (Angelidis, Cote), 8:12
SYR Wyman, (8) , 11:03 (SH)

Second Period
SYR Labrie, (9) , 12:55
BNG Prince, (10) (Cannone, Lebda), 16:18 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Wyman, (9) (Connolly, Barberio), 4:40
SYR Tyrell, (2) (Wyman, Gudas), 19:23 (PP)

J.T. Wyman, Brett Connolly, and Helenius were the game's three stars.

Connolly becomes the third Crunch player to hit 20 goals this season (Johnson and Panik). Dana Tyrell has 3 points in 3 games since being sent down to the AHL. After posting two straight multi-point games, Radko Gudas is just 3 points shy of his pro high in points. He's also 6 PIMs shy of his pro high in penalty minutes, too, for that matter.

Entering the night, Binghamton was tied for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, and Syracuse just smashed them after destroying Albany 6-0 on Wednesday night. Whatever voodoo potion Jon Cooper employed to not only weather all the call ups, the trade of his #1 goaltender, and the lineup shuffling, but to start annihilating teams in the midst of it all, he needs to Fedex a supply to Guy Boucher.

Syracuse draws Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sunday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-13-13 Crunch at Devils

No Panik? No Killorn? No problem.

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Riku Helenius stopped all 24 shots he faced for the shutout victory.

First Period
SYR Barberio, (7) (Johnson, Connolly), 0:45 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Korobov, (3) (Devos, Gudas), 4:30 (PP)
SYR Gudas, (4) (Korobov, Namestnikov), 5:07 (PP)
SYR Tyrell, (1) , 12:21 (SH)
SYR Wyman, (6) (Devos, Barberio), 16:49 (PP)
SYR Angelidis, (8) , 19:44 (SH)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Helenius, Radko Gudas, and Dmitry Korobov were the game's three stars.

Dana Tyrell chipped in a shorthanded goal in the victory.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Trade Analysis: Tokarski Dealt to Habs

Longtime Tampa Bay Lightning prospect goaltender Dustin Tokarski was traded this morning to the Montreal Canadiens for former Lightning goaltender Cedrick Desjardins.

Desjardins, 27, has appeared in 22 games this season with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League, compiling a record of 7-13-2 with a 2.94 goals-against average and .905 save percentage. The Edmundston, New Brunswick, native has played in two career NHL games, both with the Lightning during the 2010-11 season, picking up a pair of victories while recording a 1.00 goals-against average and .968 save percentage.

Prospect of the Week: February 11, 2013

We continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Prospect of the Week for February 12 is … Alex Killorn, C/W, Tampa Bay (NHL – USA)

More than five years after his draft day, Alex Killorn made his NHL debut for the Tampa Bay Lightning at the world’s most famous arena.

Killorn, a third round pick of the Bolts in 2009, had an assist on Sunday in the Lightning’s 5-1 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Killorn started on the third line, but worked his way up to a scoring line with Vincent Lecavalier and Teddy Purcell by game’s end. He brought grit on the forecheck and his willingness to play in front of the net resulted in an assist.

The Lightning brought Killorn to the big club to add size and skill to the Bolts’ third line. Dana Tyrell was waived and assigned to AHL Syracuse.

Panik Brings Size, Skill to Lightning

For the second time in two days, the Tampa Bay Lightning recalled one of their top prospects from the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch.

On Sunday, the Bolts announced that center/winger Alex Killorn would join the NHL club for his NHL debut against the New York Rangers. Killorn had an assist and played well in a 5-1 loss to the Rangers.

On Monday, the NHL club put forward Ryan Malone on injured reserve and called-up second year pro Richard Panik. The Slovakian winger is expected to make his NHL debut at home against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

Panik is second on the Crunch in goals with 21 and fourth in points with 35 in 43 games. His plus-19 rating is tied for second on the club and third in the league. He sits fourth in the AHL in goals.

He is a logical replacement for Malone, who plays a power forward role with the big club. Panik is a skill forward in a power forward’s body and exhibits a power forward’s mentality in traffic. While listed at 6-1, his strength is impressive as players frequently bounce off him when trying to make a hit. He’s not shy about dropping the gloves and he’s already blown last year’s penalty minute total of 62 out of the water (79).

AHL Game Night: 2-10-13 Crunch at Phantoms

Last night's collapse continues into today's match.

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Riku Helenius allowed 4 goals on 14 shots for the loss before giving way to Dustin Tokarski, who allowed 2 on 12 shots the rest of the way. At some point you'd like one of your two championship pedigree goaltenders to step up and act like it and steal you a game rather than getting lit up like Roman candles.

First Period
ADK Gustafsson, (4) , 7:02

Second Period
ADK Mangene, (2) (Sim), 0:37
ADK Dimmen, (3) (Mangene, Sim), 10:56
ADK Laliberte, (2) (Syvret, Akeson), 12:34 (PP)

Third Period
ADK Eddy, (2) (Wellwood, Lauridsen), 1:30
ADK Laliberte, (3) (Akeson, Noebels), 13:21
SYR Johnson, (23) (Connolly, Neilson), 18:38 (PP)

This is the kind of embarassing loss where you'd expect Julien BriseBois to start looking to make some moves, now. The Crunch let some valuable veteran components like Segal, Smith, and Jackson walk over the offseason with the thought there was enough good youth to handle it. And, yes, there is a lot of good youth. But, in my mind, a piece needs to be added to, at the very least, try to fill some of what was lost between Conacher and now, possibly, Alex Killorn, to Tampa Bay.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

At Long Last, Killorn Headed to NHL

If Lightning prospect Alex Killorn makes his NHL debut today for Tampa Bay as expected, it will mark 2,060 days from his draft day to debut.

The Lightning play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Killorn, a 2007 third round pick of the Bolts, was scratched last night by the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, leading to speculation he will be recalled by the Lightning for the first time in his career.

Syracuse Post-Standard Crunch reporter Lindsay Kramer confirmed with Killorn after the game that he was headed to the big show.

"It's a really good feeling. You don't know when it's going to come,'' Killorn told Kramer, who also reported Killorn’s mother cried when the 23-year-old Montreal native told her the news.

Killorn is a rookie in the AHL though he finished last season with the Norfolk Admirals upon graduating from Harvard University. Killorn graduated from Harvard and won an AHL championship within a few weeks of each other.

His mother likely cried then, too.

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