It may have taken a bit longer than he would have liked, but the road to the National Hockey League for Alex Killorn proved to be well worth the wait.
The 23-year-old forward made his NHL debut at Madison Square Garden on February 10, picking up an assist in Tampa Bay's only goal in a 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers. It wasn’t a bad start to the young prospect’s career, considering too that his first game in the NHL came four months shy of six years since he was drafted by the Lightning organization with the 77th overall pick at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
It also, perhaps, was a sign of more good things to come from the native of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Alex Killorn: My First NHL Goal
- Team: Tampa Bay Lightning
- Position: Center
- Shoots: Left
- Age: 23
- First NHL Goal: February 16, 2013 vs. Florida Panthers
- Opposing Goaltender: Jose Theodore
On Saturday, prior to a furious Lightning rally that ended in a 6-5 overtime win against the in-state rival Panthers, Killorn got on the board for the very first time in his young NHL career, notching a goal at 6:51 of the first period that at the time gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead.
Was it memorable?
Yes, of course, but perhaps did not occur as he expected.
With Killorn skating down in the direction of the Panthers goal, the forward opted to shoot the puck, rather than find open teammate Vincent Lecavalier, who was actually calling for the pass.
The split decision paid off, as Killorn beat netminder Jose Theodore.
Afterwards, a comical moment ensued when Lecavalier told Killorn “I got it.”
At first, Killorn thought the Lightning captain was referring to the goal, which he thought “maybe bounced off his skate or something.”
In reality, Lecavalier was talking about the puck that he retrieved from the net, which will now serve as a nice piece of memorabilia for Killorn to cherish for years to come.
Not only that, but when Killorn scored the goal for a 2-1 advantage, it was Tampa Bay's first lead in 362 minutes, 12 seconds, going back to the first period of the February 2 game against the Rangers.
“I didn’t know that actually,” Killorn said. “But I’m just glad it all worked out.”
As for what he plans to do with the puck, Killorn said he will probably send it to his parents’ house once the team frames it for him, where they will add it to a collection of other memorabilia that has been accumulated throughout his hockey career at various levels.
“It’s a great feeling, and one that I’ll always remember,” Killorn said. “But now it’s behind me and it’s somewhat of a relief. I can just go out and play my game now and try and get a few more.”