Just over a year ago, Alex Killorn ’12 wore his #19 jersey for the Harvard men’s hockey team for the last time. Now, after transitioning to the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League, and with his rookie campaign having come to an end, the recent alum appears to have found a home on the ice professionally.
In his four years at Harvard, Killorn led the Crimson on and off the ice. As assistant captain his senior year, he was named a CCM Hockey First Team All-American, first-team All-ECAC, and received unanimous selection to the All-Ivy League first team. While at Harvard, Killorn became the first 100-point career scorer since 2005, and led the team with 46 points on 23 goals and 23 assists his senior season.
In 35 games in the NHL this year, Killorn maintained his scoring ways, netting 7 goals and providing 12 assists.
“What [makes] ‘Kill’ a special player [is] his combination of size and speed,” senior forward Luke Greiner said. “He’s incredibly fast, and he has a long reach. He can really hold on to the puck and take over the game with it.”
Days after losing to Union in the 2012 ECAC finals, Killorn signed a two-year deal with the Lightning, making his first major move into the professional stage. The government concentrator from Dunster house negotiated with his professors to let him turn in his final papers while training off campus.
“For me it kind of happened all really quickly,” the rookie said. “I had about a day and a half or two days to get ready for pro hockey.”
In the nine months after graduation, Killorn played for Tampa Bay’s minor league affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, helping the Admirals win the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup.
Following the season, the Lightning dropped its affiliation with Norfolk, prompting a move to the Syracuse Crunch, also of the AHL.
On Feb. 10, Killorn got pulled up to the big show, playing his first game against the New York Rangers that night, in what will be an experience he is sure to never forget.
“From the day he stepped foot on the ice he showed that he belongs in the NHL, both in terms of his skill and his attitude,” said Lightning Owner and Chairman Jeff Vinik. “He has been a very strong addition to the Lightning.”
Killorn’s 19 points this season rank him ninth among rookies, despite playing in fewer games than the majority of his fellow first-years.
“We watch our young guys very closely,” Vinik said. “We were very confident in bringing Alex up to the NHL, and what he has done over the last two months; it proves to be the case [that he was ready].”