Realizing it was his last chance, Cody Kunyk made a case for a contract.
Looking to continue his career past the collegiate level, Kunyk registered more than a point per game in his senior season at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Kunyk earned a deal in March, but now the 24-year-old is the oldest rookie on the Syracuse Crunch roster and is out to prove himself again.
"My last year was definitely my best year," Kunyk said. "Being an older guy, I had to play with a chip on my shoulder. I knew that there wasn't going to be a tomorrow. I had to make my own path. I gave it everything I had every game, and I was fortunate enough to sign a contract."
"I think it adds a little more grit to my game," he added. "I feel like I have a little bit more to prove since I'm an older guy."
This week's edition of the BoltProspects Podcast (now on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:
· No Hedman. Now what?
· Drouin's debut
· What to expect from Witkowski (when he's recalled again)
· DeAngelo in trouble?
· BP Mailbag (Trade or more call-ups? JP Cote, Vladdy's future, projections for Vermin & Peca)
· Weekly prospect review
We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Bolt Prospect of the Week for October 21, 2014 is … Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL – USA).
#Soon became #Now this week when the long-awaited arrival of Jonathan Drouin finally happened. The Lightning’s top-rated prospect made his NHL debut on Monday night in Edmonton, creating several scoring chances in what was an overall sloppy team loss for the Bolts.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Baie-Comeau Drakkar 5 @ Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 4 (SO)
C Cameron Darcy, CB: 0-1-1, -1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 11/20 FO, 1 Hit
Season totals: 6 GP: 1-5-6, E, 2 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 65 GP, 35-47-82, +3, 51 PIM
The Eagles overcame a 4-1 deficit and scored a shorthanded goal with 28 seconds left in regulation to force overtime, but fell in a shootout to the Drakkar, 5-4. Darcy, who had a goal and two assists in his last game, had the primary assist on the game-tying goal. His shootout attempt was saved.
Ontario Hockey League
Plymouth Whalers 1 @ Windsor Spitfires 0
W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 5 GP, 3-1-4, E, 13 PIM
2013-14 totals: 50 GP, 17-11-28, +8, 101 PIM
DiGiacinto was back in the Spits lineup after leaving his last game with an apparent arm injury. His 3-game goal streak was snapped by the Whalers’ Alex Nedelijkovic, a second round pick of Carolina in the summer. Remember the name.
Saginaw Spirit 4 @ Peterborough Petes 0
D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 9 GP, 2-2-4, -6, 24 PIM
2013-14 totals: 39 GP, 2-19-21, +6, 102 PIM
Overage goaltender Jake Paterson made 32 saves for Saginaw in a shutout win over Dominik Masin and the Petes. Paterson, a third round pick of the Red Wings in 2012, was expected to start his pro career this season, but the Wings sent him back to juniors to get playing time as both goalie slots in AHL Grand Rapids were filled. Paterson was one of Canada’s goalies at the last World Junior Championships.
Novgorod 2 vs. Magnitogorsk 1 (SO)
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, SO Loss, 25/26, 0.92 GAA, .962 sv%
Season totals: 20 GP, 12-2-4, 2 SO, 1.51 GAA, .945 sv%
Novogorod's Nikita Filatov went 3-for-3 in a 7 round penalty shot session to defeat Vasily Koshechkin and Magnitka 2-1 in the shootout. Ex-Lightning draft pick Dmitry Kazionov also failed on 1 attempt in the shootout for Novgorod.