Cam Tucker

Golden Knights sign former Kings draft pick Tomas Hyka

The Vegas Golden Knights have signed another player.

There were reports Thursday that the Golden Knights have signed free agent forward Tomas Hyka, a former L.A. Kings sixth-round draft pick from 2012. The entry-level deal has since been announced by the club.

Hyka has spent the last three seasons in the Czech Republic, playing for Mlada Boleslav BK. He had 17 goals and 38 points in 48 games last season, reaching single-season career highs for games played, goals, assists and points while playing in that league.

The next few weeks are critical to the Golden Knights, with the expansion draft quickly approaching. On Thursday, the league released a long list of important dates for the new franchise between now and the expansion draft on June 21.

There could be some big news for the Golden Knights prior to their draft, with reports Vegas and the Blackhawks could strike a significant deal before that date.

Related:

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Caps re-sign Aussie forward Nathan Walker, who ‘has a good chance’ of playing in NHL next season

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Nathan Walker has already made history as the first Australian hockey player selected in the NHL Draft.

He could further the story in the fall as the first Aussie to play an NHL game. On Thursday, the Washington Capitals re-signed the 23-year-0ld winger to a two-year, two-way contract.

Below are the financial details of the deal:

The Capitals have five players that are pending unrestricted free agents. Their offseason priorities are with getting their restricted free agents — Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky and Dmitry Orlov to be specific — signed, and the projected salary cap could have quite an impact on which pending UFAs Washington can bring back. With that said, it seems there is a good chance some roster spots may be up for grabs for the organization’s prospects when training camp begins.

Selected by the Capitals in the third round, 89th overall, of the 2014 draft, Walker had 11 goals and 23 points in 58 games last season with the Hershey Bears of the AHL.

He had 17 goals and 41 points in the minors the previous season, but was recently referenced by MacLellan as a player that could move up from the AHL to earn an NHL job with the Capitals next season.

“Walker has a good chance of playing,” MacLellan said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “…These guys can all come up, and there’s just going to be more opportunity for them to play this year.”

Done deal: Kings sign Imama to entry-level contract, completing trade with Lightning

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The day after acquiring Bokondji Imama from the Tampa Bay Lightning, the L.A. Kings have signed the 20-year-old forward to a three-year entry-level contract.

The trade was conditioned on the Kings getting Imama signed to a deal by the 5 p.m. ET deadline on Thursday. In return, the Bolts now get L.A.’s seventh-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

This past season, Imama scored 41 goals in 66 games for the Saint John Sea Dogs, and 15 points in 18 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff games, helping his team to an eventual semifinal berth in the Memorial Cup.

At 6-foot-1 and 221 pounds, Imama certainly brings the element of size to the left wing. He also had 105 penalty minutes this season.

Ryan Johansen: ‘My leg felt like it was about to explode’

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With the Stanley Cup Final heading back to Nashville, Predators’ center Ryan Johansen shed some light on the injury that knocked him out of the playoffs last round.

Johansen was diagnosed with acute compartment syndrome following Game 4 of the Western Conference Final, forcing him to undergo emergency surgery on his thigh. The timeline for a comeback is two-to-three months, and he is expected to make a full recovery.

The injury started to develop after a hit in the second period of that game. By the time the game moved to overtime, he said, he could barely stand up.

He then went into further detail about what occurred immediately following the game, as the injury continued to worsen.

“Came off the ice, took my gear off right away. Went to the trainer’s room, they were looking at it. Looked like a bad charley horse. I was told right away, ‘Throw some ice on it, bend the leg a little bit, go about our business from there,'” said Johansen.

“I threw the ice on, took it off, walked to the shower. By the time I was done showering, putting on my underwear, I could barely stand up. My leg, it just felt like it was about to explode. It kept getting worse. Obviously, you know, I had to pop over to the hospital quick. They had to open me up.”

The Predators go back home for Games 3 and 4 of the series, trailing the Penguins 2-0, despite carrying the play for large portions of both contests in Pittsburgh. For the first time in these playoffs, Nashville is behind in a series.

Read more: Minus Johansen, Predators have ‘some big shoes’ to fill

With Johansen out, Colton Sissons stepped in to help fill the void as the Predators closed out the Ducks, recording a hat trick in the decisive game.

The Penguins, though, have been able to win twice thanks to the play of goalie Matt Murray, and sudden and timely goal scoring in the third periods at home. Pekka Rinne has gone from a Conn Smythe Trophy favorite to a shocking .778 save percentage after two forgettable performances in the final. Nahville’s coach Peter Laviolette isn’t publicly sharing who his starting goalie will be in Game 3.

Going back home, P.K. Subban has guaranteed a Preds win on Saturday. He has since doubled down on that.

Naturally, Johansen tried to stay positive with his message, even with his team down in the series and in desperate need of a win.

“As I know, they’re going to throw everything,” he said. “It’s going to be their absolute best effort. I can count on that from those guys, and the rest of the team can count on.”

More Sabres goaltending news: Cal Petersen announces he’s turning pro

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Shortly after the Buffalo Sabres announced the signing of prospect goalie Jonas Johansson, it looks like another one of their prospect netminders is going pro.

Having weighed his options this the spring, saying during the World Hockey Championships that he was still undecided about where to play next season, Cal Petersen announced Wednesday via the Notre Dame Athletics website that he will not return to school for his senior year.

“I feel immensely fortunate I was given the opportunity to attend Notre Dame and play hockey for the Fighting Irish,” said Petersen in a statement.

“The experiences and memories I have shared with my teammates and best friends both on and off the ice will be something I carry with me forever. This is the hardest decision I have ever had to make because of how incredible of a place Notre Dame is to be both a student and an athlete.”

Taken in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft, Petersen was a Richter Award finalist this past season — his junior year at Notre Dame. He posted a record of 23-12-5 and a save percentage of .926 in 40 games. Former Sabres general manager Tim Murray spoke very highly of Petersen’s development during his time in college.

“I am proud of Cal for taking his time and doing his due diligence before making the decision to take the next step in his career,” said Notre Dame’s head coach Jeff Jackson.

The Sabres sent out a congratulatory tweet to Petersen, but have yet to make any official announcement on this matter.