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Former Greyhounds continue to sign as NHL free agency continues

Among the recent signings were forwards Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh announced on Saturday morning
20170107 Soo Greyhounds at Barrie Colts KA 02
Barrie Colts' Joey Keane and Boris Katchouk of the Soo Greyhounds make contact during a game Jan. 7, 2017 at the Barrie Molson Centre. Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday

The summer free agency period in the NHL has been underway for just over three days and it’s been a busy time for some former members of the Ontario Hockey League’s Soo Greyhounds.

As the free agency period opened on Wednesday afternoon, former Greyhound Michael Bunting signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

On Saturday, former Greyhounds Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh signed three-year deals with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The contracts are both worth an average annual value of just over $750,000.

The deals for Katchouk and Raddysh came as the two became restricted free agents this summer.

Katchouk, 23, spent three full seasons with the Greyhounds while also getting into 12 games during the 2014-15 season and had 101 goals and 202 points in 199 career OHL games with the team.

Katchouk, a second round pick by the Lightning in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, is coming off his third full season with Tampa’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. In 2020-21, Katchouk scored 11 goals and 34 points in 29 games.

Raddysh, also 23, was acquired by the Greyhounds along with defenceman Jordan Sambrook ahead of the OHL trade deadline in January 2019 in exchange for Hayden Fowler and nine draft picks.

Also a second round pick of the Lightning in 2016, Raddysh has played in 159 games over the past three seasons in the AHL with the Crunch, which included 27 games in 2020-21 where he scored 12 goals and 29 points.

Nick Ritchie, who joined the Greyhounds for a playoff run during the 2014-15 season, became an unrestricted free agent when the Boston Bruins declined to make him a qualifying offer before free agency began.

Ritchie joins former Greyhounds teammate Michael Bunting in Toronto.

Bunting signed with the Leafs earlier in the week

Ritchie was acquired by the Greyhounds along with defenceman Connor Boland in a deal with the Peterborough Petes that sent defenceman Kyle Jenkins and four draft picks to the East Division club.

Tony DeAngelo, who was acquired ahead of the OHL deadline that same season by the Greyhounds from the Sarnia Sting, signed a contract with the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday.

The signing of DeAngelo by the Hurricanes came after the final year of the 25-year-old’s contract with the New York Rangers was bought out last weekend.

On Thursday, former Greyhound forward Jack Kopacka signed an AHL deal with the Toronto Marlies.

The 23-year-old had one assist in nine games with the AHL’s Belleville Senators in 2020-21.

After getting into four games with the Greyhounds during the 2014-15, Kopacka proceeded to play the following three full seasons in the Sault.

Kopacka scored 81 goals and 156 points in 202 career games with the Greyhounds.

A handful of other former Greyhounds remain on the market as well.

Joe Thornton, coming off of his first season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Hayden Verbeek, who finished the 2020-21 season with the AHL’s Grand Rapid Griffins are currently unrestricted free agents.

Zach Senyshyn, who got into eight games with the Boston Bruins in 2020-21 and spent part of the season with Boston’s AHL affiliate in Providence, and Tim Gettinger who played a pair of games with the New York Rangers in 2020-21 and 23 games with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, are currently restricted free agent.

A pair of former members of the Lake Superior State Lakers also inked new deals recently.

On Wednesday, the Anaheim Ducks announced the team signed former Laker forward Buddy Robinson to a one-year, two-way contract.

Robinson spent two seasons at Lake State before leaving after his sophomore season to sign a pro contract with the Ottawa Senators.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Wild signed former Lakers defenceman Kevin Czuczman to a one-year, two-way contract earlier this week.

Czuczman turned pro following his junior season at Lake State, signing with the New York Islanders.

His pro career has seen him split 15 NHL games with the Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins.

The 30-year-old has played in 402 American Hockey League games, split between the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Manitoba Moose, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Former Lake State defenceman Zach Trotman, who became an unrestricted free agent this summer, announced his retirement in mid-June.

The veteran blueliner, drafted by Boston in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, made the jump to pro hockey after his junior season with Lake State.

Trotman played in 91 career NHL games with the Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins and also played in 267 games in the AHL, split between the Providence Bruins, Ontario Reign, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.