March 10: Katchouk has been loaned to the AHL on a conditioning assignment, suggesting he’s now out of the protocol and can play some games at the minor league level to get back up to speed.
March 6: While there has been a significant reduction of players entering COVID protocol since the All-Star break, there are a handful of players that have been put in there in recent weeks. The latest is Lightning winger Boris Katchouk as Joe Smith of The Athletic relays (Twitter link) that the youngster has entered COVID protocol.
The 23-year-old made his NHL debut in mid-October and has been able to hold onto a spot on the roster all season. Katchouk has played in 37 games this season, picking up two goals and four assists along with 25 penalty minutes while averaging 9:48 per game.
Since the All-Star break, testing is generally only required if a player is symptomatic. However, it’s also needed to cross into Canada (where the Lightning are heading on Monday) so the whole Tampa Bay team was tested with Katchouk being the only one to test positive. As a result, he’ll be out for at least the next five games – tonight’s contest against Chicago plus the four-game trip in Western Canada. Katchouk should be able to return on March 16th.
Tampa Bay is able to take Katchouk off their active roster but it’s unlikely they’ll do so as they don’t have enough cap space to bring anyone up from AHL Syracuse. Instead, they’ll have to make do with only one extra skater on their road trip.