Lightning 2009-10 NCAA prospects update

By Ben Bebernitz

The Lightning have few prospects currently playing on the collegiate level. They have just three forwards and one defenseman, none of whom are considered top-end talents at this time.

Alex Killorn, LW – Harvard University
6’1", 198 lbs.
Acquired: 3rd round, 77th overall, 2007

Killorn, who turned 20 before the start of the season, is having a respectable sophomore season for Harvard. The left wing has bulked up since his draft year, putting on almost 40 pounds. This has helped him play a more gritty style and able to release his shot in traffic more often. This year, he has not been shy to shoot as he leads the team in shots on goal.

The Crimson are off to a horrific 2-10-2 start with most of their goal totals in each game being low. Killorn is on pace to beat his 14 points from last year with nine points in 14 games so far. Killorn is getting time as a top-six forward and ample power-play time once again this season. He is second on the team in goals with five. Killorn has the chance to make it to the NHL if he continues to progress.

Justin Courtnall, LW – Boston University
6’3", 205 lbs.
Acquired: 7th round, 210th overall, 2007

Courtnall has made the long cross-country trip from Victoria, BC to Boston this season to play for the Terriers. The son of former NHL player, Geoff Courtnall, Justin is an older freshman at 20. Courtnall, who produced regularly for the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL, is taking a little time to adjust to the NCAA game.

Courtnall has only played half of BU’s games as Coach Jack Parker has been shuffling different players into the fourth line. Currently, Courtnall is pointless while averaging less than a shot per game.

Matt Marshall, RW – University of Vermont
6’1", 192 lbs
Acquired: 5th round, 150th overall, 2007

Marshall is back for his sophomore season for the Catamounts. Known as a grinder and a checker, the 21-year-old is on the fourth line for the second straight year. His speed helps him to excel as a checker, which makes him a great fit for the line he is on.

Marshall has only three points in 18 games. That is slightly behind his total of four points from last season. Marshall remains a long shot.

Luke Witkowski, D – Western Michigan University
6’2", 201 lbs.
Acquired: 6th round, 160th overall, 2008

A rearguard with good size, Witkowski is spending his first season in Kalamazoo for the Broncos. A player who showed good intangibles and leadership skills in juniors is getting regular playing time at 19. He is exhibiting some struggles in the first half of the season though, with the worst plus/minus on the team at -9.

One place where Witkowski is not struggling is on the power play as he is been a regular component on it. Witkowski has played 20 of WMU’s 22 games while scoring one goal and three assists with all but one assist on the man advantage.