TULSA, Okla. – The Tulsa Oilers entered the fourth week of the ECHL season scoring just 13 goals in their first six games. In need of some scoring, today the team announced they have signed veteran forward Justin Taylor. Taylor, who has spent the last ten seasons with the Kalamazoo Wings, brings both veteran experience and the needed scoring boost to the Oilers lineup.
Last season saw the veteran post 39 points (20G, 19A) in 49 games, including a game-winning overtime goal against Tulsa on October 26. Taylor also played seven games with Utica of the AHL during the 2019-20 campaign.
“Justin is a proven scorer at our level,” head coach Rob Murray said of the veteran forward. “He can play in all situations, he’s good on draws and he brings veteran leadership to our team. He has been a huge fan favorite in Kalamazoo for years, and with them going dark this season, we were able to bring him in.”
The ten-year forward has played with Idaho and Trenton of the ECHL, compiling a staggering 422 points (223G, 199A) and 870 PIM in 590 ECHL games. Taylor has played the most games in Kalamazoo history (542), is third in goals (213), and fifth in points (403), according to Kalamazoo’s Director of Communications, John Peterson.
In another signing, last weekend, the Oilers added Alex Kromm, who last played with Tulsa in 2018-19.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound forward played a key role in the Oilers’ 2018-19 Western Conference Final run, finishing second on the team in penalty minutes, and fifth among all forwards in plus-minus. The product of University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point also posted eight goals, 16 assists, 24 points, and 90 PIM that season, all of which are career highs. Kromm appeared in six postseason games before sustaining an injury.
“He works his tail off every day,” Murray said of Kromm. “He’s a role player that knows where he fits on the team, and some guys don’t get that. He’s a very dependable player that plays a physical game. He’ll fight if he has to, but his calling card is the fact that he always finishes his hits hard.”
The Oilers return home after opening 1-2-0 on the road. Tulsa fell to the Allen Americans in Allen 4-1 on December 26 and again by a score of 5-1 on the next night. They lost 4-1 on New Year’s Eve to the Kansas City Mavericks, but notched their first road win against the Mavs Saturday night, winning 4-3.
Tulsa faces the Utah Grizzlies in a three-game set at home this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Rich Lohman covers the Tulsa Oilers for The Sin Bin. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @SinBinOilers.