The Tampa Bay Lightning continued to solidify their young core as forward Alex Killorn, 24, signed a two-year contract extension Thursday. Killorn was set to be a restricted free agent on July 1.
“We were both excited and willing to get a deal done,” Killorn said. “This is a team I want to be a part of and it seems like they wanted me to be a part of it as well.”
While more often than not players find themselves working against a learning curve in their sophomore campaign, Killorn felt differently about his performance this past year, as he further allowed himself to develop his style of play.
“During my first year I was trying to just prove myself and not make too many mistakes,” he said. “This past season I was really trying to make an impact and do everything I could to help the team win.”
The impact he made showed up on the score sheet too.
Killorn, who spent time on both the first and second line in 2013-14, racked up 41 points (17 goals, 24 assists), 63 penalty minutes and a plus-8 rating in 82 games, compared to 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists), 14 penalty minutes and a minus-6 rating in 38 games in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. He also showed his durability, appearing in all 82 games during the regular season, a feat only two other Bolts reached.
He was also one of more than 10 Bolts that made their postseason debuts, recording one goal and one assist in Game 1 of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs versus the Montreal Canadiens. He also fired a team-high six shots in Game 4.
“We were pretty happy with the fact we made the playoffs, but still have a sour taste in our mouth,” Killorn said. “We expected a lot more.”
Killorn acknowledged the fact that getting the first time experience, especially in an atmosphere like the Bell Centre, will not only make him better, but the entire Lightning roster.
The Halifax, Nova Scotia native has already begun training for the 2014-15 season and with a deal now done, hopes to be another part of the Bolts’ winning puzzle next season.
“There are a lot of pieces with this group,” he said. “Jon Cooper, [Tyler] Johnson, [Ondrej] Palat, [Mark] Barberio and those guys that have been together since winning the Calder Cup in Norfolk, but more importantly we have great players that were already here, leaders on the team, that have been great for us.
“When you put that all together you have a good feeling of what the future holds for the Tampa Bay Lightning.”
In addition to Killorn, Johnson and Palat have also re-signed with Tampa Bay this offseason.