Roundup: Stars ink first-round pick Faksa, Bolts get Taormina

Signings continue to trickle in…

Dallas signs 13th overall pick at 2012 Draft

The Dallas Stars have inked their first round pick from the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Radek Faksa, to a three-year entry-level contract.

Faksa is currently participating in the Stars’ annual Summer Development Camp. He has two options for the upcoming season — either make the NHL club, or be sent back to his junior team (OHL Kitchener.)

The 18-year-old center enjoyed a tremendous campaign with the Rangers last season, leading all OHL rookies in goals, assists, points, game-winning goals and plus-minus. At 6-foot-3, 202 pounds, he’s drawn many comparisons to another Kitchener product — the reigning Calder Trophy winner, Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog.

Tampa Bay adds another defenseman

Bolts GM Steve Yzerman continued to stockpile blueliners on Friday, signing former Devils rearguard Matt Taormina to a one-year, two-way contract.

The 25-year-old Michigan native spent the last two years shuttling between the Devils and AHL Albany. He played 30 games for the big club last year, scoring 1G-6A-7PTS while averaging just over 16 minutes of ice time per night.

Taormina is the third free agent defenseman Yzerman’s signed this offseason. He also agreed to terms with former Canuck Sami Salo and ex-Flyer Matt Carle. (Oh yeah, he also re-signed Evan Oberg.)

Jets get Maxwell, Dekanich

The Winnipeg Jets have agreed to terms with forward Ben Maxwell and goaltender Mark Dekanich on new contracts. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Maxwell, 24, appeared in nine games for the Jets last year, spending most of his time with AHL St. John’s. All told, Maxwell has appeared in 47 NHL contests between the Canadiens, Thrashers, Ducks and Jets.

Dekanich, 26, was signed by Columbus last season to back up Steve Mason but ended up missing the entire season after reconstructive ankle surgery. He was once part of the great goalie glut in Nashville — stuck behind Pekka Rinne and Anders Lindback — and has such, only has one NHL appearance on his resume.

That said, Dekanich has posted stellar numbers at the AHL level, including his 2010-11 season in Milwaukee where he posted a 2.02 GAA and .931 save percentage in 43 games.

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    Senators goaltender Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with injury

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    OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.

    The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.

    Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.

    The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.

    Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.

    Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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    CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

    The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

    The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

    The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

    Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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    ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

    The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

    The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

    Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

    The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

    Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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    TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

    The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

    “This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

    Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.