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Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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Bolts notes: Killorn won’t face further discipline

OTTAWA — Lightning LW Alex Killorn will not receive any supplemental discipline for his boarding penalty following a hit on Toronto D Paul Ranger late in the first period of Wednesday’s game.

Killorn hit Ranger into the end boards after Ranger turned into the hit, resulting in Ranger hitting the boards head first. Ranger fell to the ice face first and was face down on the ice for several minutes before being taken off on a stretcher. The Maple Leafs announced that Ranger was examined and released from a local hospital Wednesday night, but they did not specify if Ranger suffered any injury.

Killorn’s first concern all along was for Ranger’s well-being, not whether or not he would have to face a disciplinary hearing or sit out for a suspension.

“I was more relieved that he was all right,’’ Killorn said. “At 2 in the morning, I was talking with (teammate Ryan) Malone seeing if he was all right. I knew (Ranger) made it back to the (Air Canada Centre), so it seemed like he was doing all right and was stable. That was my first worry.’’

Killorn called Ranger and left a voice mail Wednesday night but had not heard back as of Thursday afternoon.

After learning Ranger would be fine, Killorn waited for the uncertainty as to whether or not he would have to face additional punishment for the five-minute major boarding and the game misconduct ejection he has assessed for the play.

“I was just willing to accept whatever fate they handed me,’’ Killorn said. “I didn’t know which way it would go. There seemed to be a sentiment around the hockey world of what might happen or what people thought of the hit, and there was no real way of tell (how the league would review) until I found out (Thursday) morning when I found.’’

Into the pool

The Lightning dipped into the college free agent pool for the third consecutive year, landing University of Alaska-Fairbanks center Cody Kunyk.

Kunyk signed a one-year contract, which means he will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. He will report to the Lightning.

Kunyk, 23, finished off a four-year career with the Nanooks with 60 goals and 133 points in 148 career games. He was named the Western Collegiate Hockey Association player of the year this season after setting career highs with 22 goals, 21 assists and 43 points.

The 5-foot-11, 197-pound native of Sherwood Park, Alberta, led the WCHA in scoring this season and was named to the All-WCHA first team. Kunyk attended the Lightning’s prospect camp last summer.

This continues a recent trend of Tampa Bay adding undrafted free agents to the farm system. In addition to C Tyler Johnson, who was signed out of junior hockey, Tampa Bay also signed Cory Conacher out of Canisius College before trading the former American Hockey League MVP to Ottawa for G Ben Bishop. The Lightning also signed forward J.T. Brown in 2012 out of the University of Minnesota-Duluth and D Andrej Sustr from University of Nebraska-Omaha last year.

Award finalist

Tampa Bay draftee G Adam Wilcox was named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in college hockey.

Wilcox, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota, is one of 10 finalists for the award, with the winner scheduled to be announced on April 11 during the Frozen Four in Philadelphia.

Wilcox currently holds a 23-4-6 record for the top-ranked Gophers and has allowed two or fewer goals in 25 of his 33 starts. He ranks second in the nation with a .934 save percentage and is third with a 1.91 goals-against average. Wilcox has posted the top two single-season goals-against averages in the 93-year history of the Minnesota hockey program.

Fans can help vote for the winner before March 30 at www.hobeybaker.com

Wilcox was also named as a finalist for the inaugural Mike Richter Award as the top NCAA goaltender, which will also be handed out during the Frozen Four.

Koekkoek update

D Slater Koekkoek, the 10th overall pick in the 2012 draft, had surgery last Thursday on his separated right shoulder, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said.

Yzerman said the surgery is the same procedure Koekkoek had performed on his left shoulder each of the previous two seasons. He is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in September.

Nuts and Bolts

Tampa Bay scratched C Tom Pyatt, RW Nikita Kucherov, D Keith Aulie and D Mark Barberio. ... Bishop appeared in his 100th career game. ... C Valtteri Filppula extended his scoring streak to seven games.

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