By Erica Whyte (Posted on May 31, 2019)
With a career-long seven-game point streak during his 11th professional regular-season and 11 points (2+9) in 12 games to finish the campaign, it is safe to say 33-year-old Kevin Porter has still got ‘it’.
“The regular season I thought went pretty well, we improved from the previous year,” said the Detroit, Michigan native following his fourth year with the Rochester Americans.
“I thought it was a good regular season,” he continued on locker clean out day. “It is long as you play 76 games but, I thought we played well for most of the season. We had some ups and down. Overall it was a great season.”
WATCH: KEVIN PORT YEAR-END INTERVIEW
In 58 games, Porter, who served as Amerks team-captain for the second consecutive season, finished second among all Rochester forwards with an on-ice rating of plus-21, fourth in assists (29) and seventh in 39 points. By recording more than 35 points in the 2018-19 campaign, it marked the eighth time Porter has done the feat in his career when playing more than 40 games.
Porter registered all the success despite being sidelined for all of December with an injury and being almost a decade older than most of the Amerks.
Under Porter’s leadership, the club reached the Calder Cup Playoffs for the second consecutive season following a three-year absence, but according to the 5-foot-11-inch 190-pound forward, the Amerks success stems from the coaching staff.
“They like to have fun and they keep the environment light,” Porter said of head coach Chris Taylor and assistant coaches Gord Dineen and Toby Peterson. “Practices are hard, but we are having a good time. I think that was a big part of our success this year. Everyone was really close and having a good time. It was a great group of guys.”
A great group, including all of the late-season additions such as Remi Ellie, Taylor Leier, Tage Thompson, Kurt Gosselin, Casey Fitzgerald, and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. In the final weeks of the year, the Amerks roster evolved while welcoming in a key group of players that spent most of this season elsewhere but Porter attributes a major contributor to the Amerks success was those newcomers’ abilities to adapt into the Amerks tight-knit locker room.
WATCH: KEVIN PORTER YEAR IN REVIEW WITH ERICA WHYTE
“I thought everyone did a good job, all the newcomers,” explained Porter. “When the new pieces came in they helped our team on and off the ice. We had a close group. They came in and they fit right in.”
Looking towards his 12th professional off-season, Porter will head back to his home state, Michigan, with one major trip planned. “My wife and I are going on our honeymoon, so we are going to go to South Africa in July,” Porter smiled. “Besides that, I will not be doing much but I will relax a little bit then get back to work.”