Young Guns camp ends, Alex Killorn stands out and other tidbits
Alex Killorn said he understands that Lightning prospects were not, technically, being evaluated during the week-long Young Guns camp at the St. Pete Times Forum. Then again, as he said, "Every time you go on the ice, when you have a GM in the crowd and owners in the stands, there's always going to be a close eye on you. So, every time you can do something to stand out, it's always great for your career."
Killorn, 19, a center, did his part with two goals during Saturday's scrimmage and a work ethic and focus that got him noticed. Defenseman Luke Witkowski and forward Matt Marshall also had standout camps. But Killorn perhaps was a step ahead.
"He just plays the game with his head up," GM Brian Lawton said. "He fits what I was talking about, guys who are willing to go into traffic areas to make plays. They're not bashful about it. (Dana Tyrell and Carter Ashton also fit that bill.) It's one thing we really want to upgrade on our existing team."
Killorn won't be in a Lightning uniform any time soon, or perhaps even signed.He still has three seasons left at Harvard, and as Lawton said, "We're not going to be an organization that pushes people out of school."
Teams have the rights to college players for four years. Killorn was drafted 107th overall in 2007.
Other points to remember:
Lawton said the Lightning will hold a prospects camp at the Times Forum just before the opening of training camp. Lawton said 19 players will be invited. Training camp for the big club begins Sept. 12.
Lawton said the team will not have an ECHL affiliate next season. In fact, because of financial constraints, it will have only 20 contract players at AHL Norfolk. Lawton said the rest of the roster will be filled out with loaner players from other organizations. Riku Helenius and Dustin Tokarski will be the goaltenders. If Tampa Bay signs draftee goalie Jaroslav Janus, he perhaps could be loaned out to an ECHL team to get playing time. The same plan would apply to any players the Lightning determined needed more playing time that he was getting at Norfolk.
The arbitration hearing for defenseman Matt Smaby is July 28. The sides can continue negotiating until that time. Smaby, given a qualifying offer of $660,000/$65,000, is seeking a one-way contract.