By Matt Stefano
What an outstanding season it was for Boris Katchouk!
First, he finishes first in team scoring with the American Hockey League’s Syracuse Crunch.
Then, he gets called up by the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs.
And then finally, he got a chance to hoist the ultimate prize.
The Stanley Cup!
Last night, former Soo Thunderbirds forward Boris Katchouk took part in the Stanley Cup presentation with the Tampa Bay Lightning, following their 1-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens in game 5 of the Stanley Cup final at Amalie Arena.
Despite not getting a chance to suit up for a game with the Lightning this year, Katchouk was still on Tampa’s roster during this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.
“It’s always special to see former Thunderbirds continue to grow and achieve great things. Boris has obviously enjoyed a great career so far and his future is so bright,” said Soo Thunderbirds general manager Jamie Henderson.
Katchouk, who is currently a member of the American Hockey League’s Syracuse Crunch, who are the affiliate team of the Tampa Bay Lightning, played one season with the Soo Thunderbirds back in 2014-2015.
That season (2014-2015), the Waterloo, Ontario native helped the Thunderbirds win the James Aspin Trophy (NOJHL Regular Season Champions), Copeland Cup McNamara Trophy (NOJHL Playoff Champions) and a Dudley Hewitt Cup (Central Canada Junior A Champions).
“Boris came in as a high draft pick and really worked on his craft,” said Henderson. “The coaching staff led by Jordan Smith really did a great job with him that season and come playoffs he was becoming a dominant force at his level.”
During the 2015 Dudley Hewitt Cup tournament, which was held in Fort Frances, Ontario, the former 2014 2nd round pick of the Soo Greyhounds led all Thunderbird players in scoring with 6 points in 4 games.
“He was a force all tournament long in Fort Frances,” said Henderson. “That team was a tight group and they were prepared for that week with a great mix of veterans and young players. There were several players from that group that went on to play at the next level and that tournament was great for their development.”
Katchouk became the first Thunderbird alumni to hoist the Stanley Cup since Jake Muzzin did back in 2014 with the Los Angeles Kings.
“For Boris to experience that run as a call-up from Syracuse will certainly boost his development. To watch and learn from those players will serve him well and there is no doubt and hopefully one day he’ll get the opportunity to have his name on that trophy as a player with Tampa. The past two months, he got a taste of that success and I’m sure it will only fuel his desire going forward,” said Henderson.
(Photo of Boris Katchouk hoisting the Dudley Hewitt Cup with the Soo Thunderbirds back in 2015 – credit to saultsports.com)