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Greyhounds Kopacka, Katchouk ink NHL deals (update)

Seven members of the 2016-17 Soo Greyhounds have signed entry-level contracts
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20160331 Sarnia Sting at Soo Greyhounds Game 4 KA 03
File photo. Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday

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Forwards Jack Kopacka and Boris Katchouk are the latest member of the Soo Greyhounds to ink National Hockey League contracts.

On Sunday afternoon, the Anaheim Ducks announced the signing of Kopacka to a three-year entry-level contract, while the Tampa Bay Lightning did the same in signing Katchouk.

A fourth round pick of the Ducks in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Kopacka set career highs in goals, 30, and points, 49 in the 2016-17 Ontario Hockey League regular season before adding five goals and 11 points in 11 playoff games.

In 136 career games with the Greyhounds, Kopacka has 50 goals and 93 points.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed, as per Ducks team policy.

Earlier this week, Kopacka joined the Ducks American Hockey League affiliate, the San Diego Gulls on an amateur tryout agreement.

The Gulls, who feature former Lake Superior State Lakers forward Mitch Hults, are in the midst of the first round of the AHL playoffs. The Gulls and Ontario Reign are tied at one game apiece in their best-of-five series.

Katchouk, a second round pick of the Lightning in the 2016 draft, set career highs in three offensive categories, including goals (35), assists (29) and points (64) in the 2016-17 season.

The veteran forward then added eight goals and 13 points in 11 playoff games.

In 141 career games with the Greyhounds, Katchouk has 59 goals and 117 points.

Katchouk has joined Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. The Crunch and St. John’s Ice Caps are currently tied at one in their first round playoff series.

Terms of Katchouk’s deal with the Lightning were not disclosed.

The pair are two of seven members of the Greyhounds to have inked NHL contracts.

The others include forwards Blake Speers (New Jersey Devils), Zach Senyshyn (Boston Bruins) and Tim Gettinger (New York Rangers) and defencemen Colton White (New Jersey) and Gustav Bouramman (Minnesota).

Speers and White are currently with the AHL’s Albany Devils while Senyshyn is also in the AHL with the Providence Bruins. Bouramman is with Minnesota.

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AROUND THE OHL

The OHL conference finals continued on Saturday night on two fronts

In Erie, Matt Schmalz scored at 4:22 of overtime as the Owen Sound Attack evened the Western Conference final at one thanks to a 4-3 victory over the Erie Otters.

Kevin Hancock chipped in with a goal and an assist while Maksim Sushko also scored for Owen Sound. Goaltender Michael McNiven made 33 saves for the Attack.

Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome had a goal and an assist each for the Otters. Warren Foegele also scored. Goaltender Joseph Murdaca stopped 33 shots.

Game three is set for Owen Sound on Monday night.

In the Eastern Conference final, Matthew Mancina made 24 saves as the Mississauga Steelheads took a 2-0 series lead thanks to a 3-0 win in Peterborough over the Petes.

Jacob Moverare, Owen Tippett and Spencer Watson scored for the Steelheads.

Peterborough goaltender Dylan Wells made 49 saves.

The series now shifts to Mississauga for game three on Monday night.

NHL teams continue to sign prospects from the OHL.

Other signings during the week included forward Steve Lorentz of the Peterborough Petes, who signed with the Carolina Hurricanes and Connor Bunnaman of the Kitchener Rangers, who signed his entry level contract with the Philadelphia Flyers.