We continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Prospect of the Week for February 12 is … Alex Killorn, C/W, Tampa Bay (NHL – USA)
More than five years after his draft day, Alex Killorn made his NHL debut for the Tampa Bay Lightning at the world’s most famous arena.
Killorn, a third round pick of the Bolts in 2009, had an assist on Sunday in the Lightning’s 5-1 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Killorn started on the third line, but worked his way up to a scoring line with Vincent Lecavalier and Teddy Purcell by game’s end. He brought grit on the forecheck and his willingness to play in front of the net resulted in an assist.
The Lightning brought Killorn to the big club to add size and skill to the Bolts’ third line. Dana Tyrell was waived and assigned to AHL Syracuse.
For the second time in two days, the Tampa Bay Lightning recalled one of their top prospects from the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch.
On Sunday, the Bolts announced that center/winger Alex Killorn would join the NHL club for his NHL debut against the New York Rangers. Killorn had an assist and played well in a 5-1 loss to the Rangers.
On Monday, the NHL club put forward Ryan Malone on injured reserve and called-up second year pro Richard Panik. The Slovakian winger is expected to make his NHL debut at home against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.
Panik is second on the Crunch in goals with 21 and fourth in points with 35 in 43 games. His plus-19 rating is tied for second on the club and third in the league. He sits fourth in the AHL in goals.
He is a logical replacement for Malone, who plays a power forward role with the big club. Panik is a skill forward in a power forward’s body and exhibits a power forward’s mentality in traffic. While listed at 6-1, his strength is impressive as players frequently bounce off him when trying to make a hit. He’s not shy about dropping the gloves and he’s already blown last year’s penalty minute total of 62 out of the water (79).
Last night's collapse continues into today's match.
Riku Helenius allowed 4 goals on 14 shots for the loss before giving way to Dustin Tokarski, who allowed 2 on 12 shots the rest of the way. At some point you'd like one of your two championship pedigree goaltenders to step up and act like it and steal you a game rather than getting lit up like Roman candles.
ADK Gustafsson, (4) , 7:02
ADK Mangene, (2) (Sim), 0:37
ADK Dimmen, (3) (Mangene, Sim), 10:56
ADK Laliberte, (2) (Syvret, Akeson), 12:34 (PP)
ADK Eddy, (2) (Wellwood, Lauridsen), 1:30
ADK Laliberte, (3) (Akeson, Noebels), 13:21
SYR Johnson, (23) (Connolly, Neilson), 18:38 (PP)
This is the kind of embarassing loss where you'd expect Julien BriseBois to start looking to make some moves, now. The Crunch let some valuable veteran components like Segal, Smith, and Jackson walk over the offseason with the thought there was enough good youth to handle it. And, yes, there is a lot of good youth. But, in my mind, a piece needs to be added to, at the very least, try to fill some of what was lost between Conacher and now, possibly, Alex Killorn, to Tampa Bay.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
If Lightning prospect Alex Killorn makes his NHL debut today for Tampa Bay as expected, it will mark 2,060 days from his draft day to debut.
The Lightning play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Killorn, a 2007 third round pick of the Bolts, was scratched last night by the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, leading to speculation he will be recalled by the Lightning for the first time in his career.
Syracuse Post-Standard Crunch reporter Lindsay Kramer confirmed with Killorn after the game that he was headed to the big show.
"It's a really good feeling. You don't know when it's going to come,'' Killorn told Kramer, who also reported Killorn’s mother cried when the 23-year-old Montreal native told her the news.
Killorn is a rookie in the AHL though he finished last season with the Norfolk Admirals upon graduating from Harvard University. Killorn graduated from Harvard and won an AHL championship within a few weeks of each other.
His mother likely cried then, too.
Third Period choke.
Dustin Tokarski allowed 4 goals on 21 shots. Really, it was 4 goals on 8 shots in the Third Period. Not good.
SYR Namestnikov, (3) (Wyman, Oberg), 1:39
SYR Johnson, (21) , 19:48
ALB Whitney, (12) (Anderson), 4:03
ALB Parse, (1) (Gelinas, Anderson), 10:32 (PP)
ALB Anderson, (9) (McKelvie, Zajac), 12:01
ALB Sestito, (7) (Sislo, Wiseman), 17:40
SYR Johnson, (22) (Connolly), 19:38
Evan Oberg was the game's third star. Remember Evan Oberg? 5 points in 33 games is almost unthinkable considering how productive and active he was last season.
What an epic melt down. At least the Crunch finally got Tyler Johnson off the side of the milk carton.
Box score from TheAHL.com.