For most seniors, spring semester marks the end of the road, a time of relaxation and low stress before entering the less forgiving professional world.
But a group of senior men’s hockey players jumped the gun and have already left Cambridge to pursue their professional careers in hockey.
Less than a month after the Crimson’s season-ending loss to Union in the ECAC Hockey Championship Final on March 17, four different players—Alex Killorn, Ryan Grimshaw, Eric Kroshus, and Daniel Moriaty—have all suited up for professional clubs.
Just four days after Alex Killorn’s two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning was announced on March 19, the forward played in his first contest with the Norfolk Admirals, the Lightning’s minor league affiliate in the American Hockey League. Through seven contests with Norfolk, Killorn, the MVP of the 2011-12 Crimson squad, has tallied a goal and three assists in eight games.
Killorn could not have joined the Admirals at a better time. Currently, the team is in the midst of a 26-game winning streak. The last loss came on Feb. 5 at Springfield.
At 107 points, the Admirals have already clinched the division title and look to be the favorite for the upcoming AHL playoffs.
Aside from the winning streak, Killorn has enjoyed other facets of his experience with the Admirals as well.
“Nice being on a team with more Canadians than Americans for once, #bullytheamerican,” the Montreal, Que., native joked in a March 26 tweet.
Yet, there are drawbacks as well.
“Really wishing there was a chipotle nearby. #hotellivin,” Killorn tweeted on March 25.
Four days after Killorn’s Admirals debut, Grimshaw, followed suit, playing his first game with the ECHL’s Trenton Titans on March 28 (the ECHL is generally considered one rung below the AHL and two below the NHL).
After three contests with the Titans, Grimshaw signed with the AHL’s Rochester Americans.
The move was important in its own right, since it elevated Grimshaw to a more prestigious league. But for the Rochester, N.Y., native, the fact that he would be returning home made the signing that much more significant.
“Thanks to everyone for all the support,” Grimshaw tweeted after the signing. “Putting on that Americans jersey was something special.”
In an April 6 tweet, shortly following Grimshaw’s move, sophomore defenseman Dan Ford wrote, “‘Feel like Ricky Bobby when he first raced'-@TheBearShirt” (Grimshaw’s twitter handle).
Through two games, Grimshaw has one shot on goal and a plus-minus of three.
Meanwhile, forwards Daniel Moriarty and Eric Kroshus have also left the amateur ranks and have seen action with the Central Hockey League’s Evansville Icemen and ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers, respectively.