Panik, Richard

Will Leblanc's Situation Affect Alex Killorn?

Rumors have been swirling all week that Montreal first round draft pick Louis Leblanc may have already decided to leave Harvard University after one season with the Crimson. Montreal writer Pat Hickey penned a story for the Montreal Gazette on Wednesday claiming the speedy forward might be weighing whether to go to the QMJHL or sign with the Canadiens and play in the AHL for Hamilton. Compounding the intrigue was that Leblanc, whose junior rights were held by Chicoutimi, apparently had a preference to play for the Montreal Juniors in the QMJHL so he could also attend classes at McGill University to continue his education.

Today, at the tail end of the QMJHL Midget Draft, Chicoutimi traded Leblanc's rights to the Montreal Juniors, along with a 3rd round pick, for Guillaume Asselin and a 2011 first round pick. That will only serve to intensify speculation that Leblanc may leave Harvard. If Leblanc leaves, he will add to a list of players not returning to the Crimson that already included graduating seniors Doug Rogers, Chad Morin, Alex Biega, Jack Christian, and Ian Tallett. While only Rogers, Morin, and Biega were serious contributors to Harvard last season, it's important to bear in mind the club has only won 9 games each of the past two seasons. Losing those players and their leading scorer, Leblanc, may be a death sentence for Ted Donato's club next season.

All that begs the question: what about Alex Killorn? Killorn, a 2007 3rd round pick of the Lightning, has been routinely singled out over the past couple of seasons as being one of the team's best young talents in prospect camps but has failed to garner much publicity playing for a sinking Harvard club. If Leblanc leaves, can the Lightning allow one of their ten best prospects to languish through another potential single-digits win season at Harvard? Would it be better for his development to sign Killorn and have him begin his pro career with Norfolk of the AHL? Expect new GM Steve Yzerman to seriously contemplate that option if Killorn impresses him as much at this summer's prospect camp as he has other Hockey Operations people with the Lightning in previous camps.

If Killorn were to be signed, he'd join fellow signees Johan Harju and Mark Barberio from an already strong class of incoming pros. The team could also still sign 2009 2nd round pick Richard Panik, who just completed his first World Championships appearance for Slovakia.

Hat tip to our Chad Schnarr, who has been following this situation closely on BoltProspects' Twitter feed.

World Championships Game Day: 5-18-10

Relegation Round
USA 3 @ Italy 2 (SO)
Mike Lundin, USA, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 6 GP, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM

TJ Oshie scored the winning shootout goal for Team USA to complete a 3-2 win over Italy. USA went 3-0-0 in the Relegation Round, and will avoid relegation. Italy and Kazakhstan will be relegated in lieu of Austria and Slovenia in next year's World Championships. Lightning blueliner played 15:33 in the match for the Americans. Team USA's tournament is now completed. They finished 13th out of the 16 team field.

Qualifying Round
Slovakia 1 @ Germany 2
Richard Panik, Slovakia, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 6 GP, 0-2-2, +3, 6 PIM

Vladimir Mihalik, Slovakia, 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 6 GP, 1-0-1, -1, 4 PIM

Lightning blueline prospect Vladimir Mihalik was on the ice for both German goals as the home team defeated Slovakia 2-1. Mihalik played 17:39 in the match. Lightning forward prospect Richard Panik played 8:51 for the Slovaks, whose only goal came from Marek Svatos. Slovakia's tournament is now over. They finished 12th out of the 16 team field.

Canada 2 @ Czech Republic 3
Steven Stamkos, Canada, 0-0-0, E, 4 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 2-1-3, +1, 6 PIM

Steve Downie, Canada, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 6 GP, 2-0-2, +2, 10 PIM

The Czech Republic got goals from Lukas Kaspar, Jaromir Jagr, and Jakub Klepis to defeat Canada 3-2. Lightning star forward Steven Stamkos returned from a concussion suffered against Switzerland to play 19:38 for the Canadians. He took minors for roughing and cross-checking in the match. Fellow Lightning forward Steve Downie played just 8:48. Canada will face Russia on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

Russia 5 @ Finland 0
Vasily Koshechkin, Russia, DNP
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 2-0-0, 0 SO, 1.00 GAA, .969 sv%

Russia got 1 goal and 1 assist from Maxim Afinogenov en route to a 5-0 thumping of Finland. Semyon Varlamov had a 36 save shutout in the match. Lightning prospect goaltender Vasily Koshechkin did not play. Russia will face the Canadians on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

Switzerland 0 @ Sweden 5
Victor Hedman, Sweden, 1-0-1, +3, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 6 GP, 1-1-2, +4, 2 PIM

Johan Harju, Sweden, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 6 GP, 3-0-3, +1, 2 PIM

Sweden got second period goals from Lightning contracted players Johan Harju and Victor Hedman on the way to an easy 5-0 win over Switzerland. Harju played 17:40 in the match while Hedman played 16:12. Harju's goal was his 3rd of the tournament after a disappointing KHL season where he scored just 4 goals all season for Dynamo Moscow. Sweden draws Denmark on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

Among other Lightning prospects, Kirill Gotovets' Belarus finished the tournament in 10th and Martins Karsums' Team Latvia finished 11th.

World Championships Game Day: 5-17-10

Qualifying Round
Finland 5 @ Slovakia 2
Vladimir Mihalik, Slovakia, 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 5 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 4 PIM

Richard Panik, Slovakia, 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 5 GP, 0-2-2, +3, 6 PIM

Finland got a pair of goals from ex-Lightning forward Jussi Jokinen to pace them to a 5-2 win over Slovakia. Lightning prospect blueliner Vladimir Mihalik had a goal in the match and was named Slovakia's best player. He played 19:21 in the match and took a minor for high sticking in the third period. His teammate, Lightning prospect forward Richard Panik, played 13:08 in the match and took a first period minor for hooking. He also was on the ice for Mihalik's goal.

Belarus 2 @ Denmark 1
Kirill Gotovets, Belarus, DNP
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM

Belarus got a late third period power play goal from Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Mikhail Stefanovich to pull out a 2-1 win over Denmark. Lightning prospect defenseman Kirill Gotovets did not suit up for Belarus.

World Championships Game Day: 5-14-10

Slovakia 0 @ Denmark 6
Vladimir Mihalik, Slovakia, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM

Richard Panik, Slovakia, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 0-2-2, +2, 4 PIM

Denmark scored 6 goals in the first period to shock Slovakia 6-0 in their preliminary round World Championships match. Lightning prospect defenseman Vladimir Mihalik played 19:07 in the match for the Slovaks while fellow Lightning prospect Richard Panik played 20:40.

Canada 12 @ Norway 1
Steve Downie, Canada, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 2-0-2, +1, 10 PIM

Steven Stamkos, DNP
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 2-1-3, +1, 2 PIM

Norway had the unfortunate task of playing an annoyed Canadian squad after the Canadians lost in an upset to Switzerland in their previous match, and the results were not pretty. Canada got a hat trick from the Islanders' John Tavares as they dismantled the Norweigians 12-1. Lightning forward Steve Downie had a goal 15:14 of ice time. Star forward Steven Stamkos missed the match while recovering from a concussion.

Finland 2 @ Belarus 0
Kirill Gotovets, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM

Finland got a pair of second period goals, including a marker by Jarkko Immonen in Finland's 2-0 win over Belarus. Lightning prospect defenseman Kirill Gotovets had 6:43 of ice time and did not see another shift after being on the ice for Finland's second goal.

Sweden 4 @ Latvia 2
Victor Hedman, Sweden, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM

Johan Harju, Sweden, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 1-0-1, -1, 2 PIM

Martins Karsums, Latvia, 2-0-2, +2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 3-1-4, +3, 2 PIM

Latvia got a pair of goals from Lightning prospect forward Martins Karsums, but it wasn't enough as the Baltic republic fell to Sweden 4-2. Karsums played 15:31 in the match and was named Latvia's best player. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman assisted on a first period goal by Oilers first rounder Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson and played 17:06 in the match. Lightning prospect forward Johan Harju played played 14:38 and was on the ice for Karsums' second goal in the third period.

World Championships Game Day: 5-13-10

Russia 3 @ Belarus 1
Kirill Gotovets, Belarus, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM

Vasily Koshechkin, Russia, DNP
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, 0 SO, 1.00 GAA, .970 sv%

Team Russia got 1 goal and 1 assist from Sergei Mozyakin in a 3-1 win over Belarus. Belarussian defenseman and Lightning prospect Kirill Gotovets gained 12:47 of valuable experience in the loss. Vasily Koshechkin did not dress for Russia.

Kazakhstan 1 @ Slovakia 5
Vladimir Mihalik, Slovakia, 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM

Richard Panik, Slovakia, 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 0-2-2, +2, 2 PIM

Slovakia got a pair of goals from Ivan Ciernek in their 5-1 blowout win over Kazakhstan. Lightning prospect defenseman Vladimir Mihalik played 19:41 in the match while forward prospect Richard Panik played 12:27 in the match for the Slovaks. Ex-Lightning draft pick Ilya Solarev played 13:21 in the match but was -3 with 3 shots on goal for Kazakhstan.

Sweden 1 @ Czech Republic 2
Victor Hedman, Sweden, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

Johan Harju, Sweden, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM

Despite a goal from Edmonton Oilers first rounder Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, Sweden fell to the Czech Republic 2-1 today. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman played 21:02 in the match. Lightning prospect forward Johan Harju played 14:31 for the Swedes, but was on the ice for a shorthanded goal by Tomas Rolinek that opened the scoring for the Czechs.

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