At Long Last, Killorn Headed to NHL

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.

After he was drafted out of Deerfield Academy, a prep school in Massachusetts, Killorn returned to high school for another year before his collegiate debut with the Crimson. Although he had the chance to turn pro after his junior season, the 6-2 center/winger returned to serve as an alternate captain for Harvard in his senior campaign, leading them to the ECAC finals. He turned pro shortly thereafter and finished his final paper for Harvard during Norfolk’s playoff run.

For many years, we at Bolt Prospects referred to Killorn as our "stealth prospect" as no one in the hockey media was talking about him as an NHL threat.

They know about him now.

Killorn has 16 goals and 39 points in 43 games for the Crunch this season, which was tied for second on the team with Brett Connolly behind Tyler Johnson heading into Saturday’s loss against Albany.

The Lightning made room for Killorn by waiving Bolt Prospects alumnus, Dana Tyrell. Syracuse General Manager Julien BrisBois told the Post-Standard that the Lightning wanted to change the makeup of the big club.

Killorn likely slots into a third line spot on the Lightning with Benoit Pouliot and Tom Pyatt. Nate Thompson had been manning that spot, but Thompson is more of a grinding forward and speculation is the Lightning want more of a scoring threat from their third line.

Although he is not a towering player, Killorn plays like a power forward and has the defensive smarts and offensive creativity to provide what the Lightning need. He has been known to create his own scoring chance at one of the ice then hustle back to his own end and slide to block a shot. There are no questions of character or work ethic with the young man and his compete level rarely waivers. His shot could improve, but he’s not shy about shooting and plays a simple style that coaches appreciate. He will get his points at the NHL level while maintaining a plus-rating.

The Bolts have a hole at third line center now and in the projected future and after a long journey from the 2007 draft in Columbus to the NHL, Killorn could finally have reached his destination.

Pictured: Crunch forward Alex Killorn makes a pass in front of the IceCaps' Jason Gregoire at the Onondaga County War Memorial Dec. 29.