The USHL has announced their lineups for the 2009 USHL Prospects/All-Star Game to be held February 4 in Sioux Falls. Lightning prospect and Western Michigan University commit Luke Witkowski was named to the defensive squad for the West Division.
Teams are selected by a vote from league coaches.
Witkowski, a 2008 6th round pick, stands 6'2" and weights 200 pounds. The Force captain leads all Fargo defensemen in scoring with three goals and 10 points in 29 games this season. He also leads all Force players - and is fifth in the league among defensemen - in plus/minus with a plus-15 rating. He is second in the league among defensemen behind teammate Steve Spinnell (undrafted, Miami Univ. commit) in penalty minutes with 76.
Last season, Witkowski scored 13 points (3 goals) in 59 games with the Ohio Junior Blue Jackets - his first in the USHL. Luke will begin his collegiate career at WMU next fall.
The American Hockey League announced today that Norfolk Admirals forward and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Steve Downie will play for Team Canada at the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Charter Communications, to be played later this month at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Downie, a 5-foot-10, 192-pound native of Newmarket, Ontario, has posted six goals and 14 assists for 20 points in just 15 games for Norfolk this season. Among his notable accomplishments with the Admirals this season are a franchise-record tying four-assist game on December 13 versus Bridgeport, a hat trick on December 27 versus Philadelphia and a Norfolk season-high eight-game scoring streak from November 16 â€“ December 27 during which he registered five goals and ten assists.
Downie was acquired by the Tampa Bay Lightning from the Philadelphia Flyers along with Steve Eminger on November 7 in the deal that sent Matt Carle to the Flyers. Prior to the trade, he also appeared in four games with the Flyers' AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms, recording one goal and seven assists. In 19 total AHL games this season, Downie has seven goals and 21 assists for 28 points. In 41 career AHL contests between Norfolk and Philadelphia, the second-year professional has scored 12 goals and 38 assists for 50 points.
TSN.ca is announcing Team Canada's final roster for the upcoming World Junior Championship, and for the first time two Lightning draftees will be on the squad.
Two-way winger/center Dana Tyrell of the WHL's Prince George Cougars, a 2007 2nd round draft choice, is one of just 12 forwards named to the team. Goaltender Dustin Tokarski, a 2008 fifth round pick from Spokane of the WHL, is one of two goalies, joining Tri-City's Chet Pickard.
A character forward known for his work ethic, physical play, and scoring, Tyrell currently leads Prince George with 19 goals and 21 assists for 40 points in 30 games. The 19 year old nicknamed "Whiskers" also serves as captain of the Cougars.
Tokarski leads the WHL in save percentage (.938) and shutouts (4) and is second in goals against average (1.97) to Vancouver's Jamie Tucker, who has now played in the minimum amount of games to be counted among that category's leaders.
The Lightning have not had a draftee on Team Canada since Brad Richards in 1999-2000.
Tampa Bay joins St. Louis, L.A., and Buffalo as the only NHL teams to place multiple prospects on the team.
(CHL Photo and Release) The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Lightning prospect Torrie Jung of the Edmonton Oil Kings is the ADT CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending November 30.
Today the BCHL announced its Coastal Conference all-stars and Lightning prospect Justin Courtnall made the list. Courtnall's father, Geoff, will be coaching the Coastal squad at the January 14 game vs. the Interior Conference.
Courtnall is in his third year in the BCHL, and is tied for the team lead in scoring with fellow all-star Evan Pighin. Both were participants in the Lightning's prospect camp this past summer. Pighin is a free agent.
Courtnall is averaging a career-best 1.1 points per game as he has accumulated nine goals and 25 assists for 34 points in 31 games. He is second on his club in penalty minutes with 53. Last year he was 19-32-51 in 60 games with Victoria. The year previous he split between Victoria and Burnaby, scoring five goals and 14 points in 48 games.