Lightning 2008-09 NCAA prospects update

By Vic Alvira

The Lightning have only three prospects in the NCAA for the 2008-09 season — two forwards and one defenseman. The two forwards, Alexa Killorn and Matt Marshall, are both in their freshman year. John Wessbecker is in his senior year.

Alex Killorn, LW – Harvard University

Acquired: 3rd round, 77th overall, 2007
September 14, 1989, 6’1, 195

Killorn is the top Lightning prospect playing at the collegiate level. The 20-year-old is adapting quite well in his first season of college hockey with Harvard. Killorn possesses above average speed and excellent acceleration. Killorn has great vision and can make difficult plays with the puck seem simple. He has not been able to pull off as many dynamic maneuvers as in prep hockey, but some flashes of these skills have appeared in his first season of NCAA hockey.  Killorn’s stickhandling is on par for a player in the collegiate ranks.

Killorn plays an aggressive game. He will get his nose dirty in the corners and battle in front of the net. For Harvard in the 2008-09 season, Killorn has put up four goals and 11 points as well as 40 penalty minutes in 22 games, which ranks him fifth on the team in points.  He recently missed the Beanpot, however, due to an upper-body injury.  He had been playing left wing on the first line with Doug Rogers and Eric Kroshus prior to that.

Killorn has the makings to become quite a player at the NHL level if his development continues to blossom the way that it has in his first season of NCAA hockey. But he’ll probably finish his academic career at Harvard first.

Matt Marshall, RW – University of Vermont
Acquired: 5th round, 150th overall, 2007
August 30, 1988, 6’1, 172

Marshall is having a respectable first year of collegiate hockey at the University of Vermont. He is receiving a decent amount of ice time for a freshman, and playing reasonably well as a role player. Speed is Marshall’s most impressive asset, but he needs work on his stickhandling and his decision-making to make some plays.

Marshall is also a physical player and plays with tremendous tenacity. The 20-year-old does not give up on the play and will throw a hit on the opposition whenever an opportunity presents itself. He can afford to bulk up, especially with the physical side that the young winger brings to the rink. Marshall has suited up for 19 of the 26 games with Vermont, and has compiled one goal and one assist to go along with 10 penalty minutes.

John Wessbecker, D – University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Acquired: 7th round, 225th overall, 2005
September 15, 1986, 6’2, 198

Wessbecker is having a quiet, yet successful senior season at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He continues to bring a stable, stay-at-home style of play to the Minutemen’s defense.  Wessbecker’s decent skating skill does not hurt his game.  In his senior season for the Minutemen, the 22-year-old Wessbecker has put together four assists and 28 penalty minutes in 26 games, as well as a +9 rating.