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Monday, 11.13.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
New York Islanders
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2006 Fourth Round Draft Pick

By Jason Lockhart

Rhett Rakhshani's hometown of Orange, California is more known for its role in the hit TV show, "The OC" than for breeding hockey players, but that hasn't stopped Rhett from turning a passion into a dream.

Due to his love of surfing, Rhett picked up hockey, not by going to his local rink, but by rollerblading to the countless beaches that line the California shore. It was after those excursions Rhett developed an interest in roller hockey the street kind, playing pick-up until he joined a league. But that wasn't enough. Rhett liked hockey so much that he asked his parents to try another form, and so he did ice. He then signed up for clinics before joining his first organized ice hockey league at the age of six.

Rhett then played hockey for the next ten years in California compiling over 200 points in his last two seasons playing at the Bantam and Midget levels. Rhett was then recruited to play for the United States National Development Team Program (USDP) in 2004 and had a successful two-year run there, putting up 84 points in two seasons. His productivity with the USDP earned him a spot on the United States National Team for the Under-18 World Junior Championship. There he helped lead the US to gold by contributing six points (5-1) in six games. Rhett has since participated in the 2006 US National Junior Evaluation Camp in hopes of joining the National Team for the 2007 World Junior Championship to be held in Sweden.

Though small in stature, 5'10," 170 lbs Rhett has the grit and determination that Ted Nolan and the Islanders organization are looking for in their players. The Islanders scouting staff likes the excitement Rhett brings to the rink with his speed and skill. In addition, his likeable personality off the ice makes him a positive influence in the locker room.

Rhett is currently playing hockey in his first year at the University of Denver and has already made his presence felt He's currently tied for second on the team in scoring and notched the game-winner in overtime against Wisconsin on November 11.


On his Draft Day experience:
"I didn't go to the 2006 NHL Draft; I was back at home watching the first round on TV. Then I went to my aunt's house for her graduation party, so I had all of my family there for the rest of the draft. I got a phone call about being drafted to the Islanders. The whole family was there to celebrate, so that was nice."

On the Islanders Development Camp:
"It was fun. Being on the ice and working out with a bunch of top-notch players was a great experience. We also got to hang out a lot away from the rink. Just being around guys like that is always fun regardless of what you're doing."

On what he would like to improve:
"I'm trying to get bigger overall, which is going to come with time and working hard. I'm working on my skating as well. I don't think Im bad at skating, but it's something I still want to get better at. I'm working on the mental game as well."

On going the college hockey route:
"It's great hockey. I have more time to develop, and I get to go to school at the same time.  It's the whole package."

On playing for the US National Development Team:
"It was an amazing experience. The staff pushes you so hard every day. You can't help but further yourself as a player and as a person. The practices are top notch, the season is awesome, the weight training is great, but the best thing about it is representing your country at international tournaments. Also, playing a college schedule in your under-18 year is so much fun."

On his Denver hockey experience:
"It has been an amazing experience so far.  I've been here for about five weeks and it's just flown by. All the older guys have taken us freshmen under their wing. The first regular season game was a blast. We played at Miami of Ohio and it was a packed house with the great college fans. Unfortunately, we lost but it was still an awesome experience.  It is different than playing on the national team. Off the ice, the coaches give you more responsibility, and treat you as men. So you have to make sure you are disciplined and have good time management. On the ice, there's a lot of leadership involved because everyone isn't the same age. The older guys will always step up and keep you accountable if you aren't doing things right."

On balancing hockey and academics:
"It's definitely been an adjustment. College is a lot harder and more time consuming than high school. On top of that, you have your full hockey schedule, which a lot of the time includes traveling for three days over the weekend. After all that, there are social activities. I've learned quickly to take care of the important things first before I go have fun."

On playing against fellow Islanders draft pick Kyle Okposo (on Minnesota):
"No doubt it will be a big game. But yeah, knowing Kyle and some other really good buddies, I'm sure it will be an intense game. Bragging rights are always nice to have with your good friends."


The Rakhshani File

Favorite superpower: Flying
Green Day or Eminem? Green Day
Favorite non-North American city: Helsinki, Finland
Jet skiing or Snowmobiling? Jet skiing
Alternate profession: Business
Family Guy or Simpsons? Simpsons
Favorite Former Islander: Bryan Trottier
Batman or Superman? Superman
What actor would play you in a movie? Brad Pitt
Ashlee or Jessica Simpson? Jessica
Favorite sport other than hockey: Surfing
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Do you like "The OC?" Never watched it.
Your favorite class you're taking? My freshman seminar writing class
What do you like best about DU? The campus and the friendly people
Favorite NHL team growing up: Anaheim Mighty Ducks
Favorite NHL player growing up: Mario Lemieux
Favorite food: Mexican
Favorite movie: Pirates of the Caribbean
Favorite TV show: Prison Break
Your brand of skates: Mission
Your stick brand: Mission
Favorite color: Green
What two people would you like to have dinner with? Abe Lincoln and Michael Jordan
What event in history would you like to have been a part of? The signing of the Declaration of Independence


Rhett Rakhshani

Position: Right Wing
Born: March 6, 1988 -- Orange, CA
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Shoots: Right  
Drafted by the Islanders in the fourth round (100th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft


2004-05 U.S. Nat'l U-17 USDP 63 19 24 43 -
2005-06 U.S. Nat'l U-18 USDP 50 18 23 41 59
2006 Team USA WJC18 6 5 1 6 4




1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31


J. Tavares 48 23 25 -1 48
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 48 9 25 16 34
B. Nelson 48 15 15 5 30
F. Nielsen 48 9 17 4 26
J. Boychuk 38 4 21 16 25
J. Bailey 36 8 14 7 22
N. Leddy 48 7 14 14 21
N. Kulemin 48 11 9 0 20
A. Lee 42 13 5 6 18
J. Halak 26 10 0 .912 2.42
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38 is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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