LONG ISLAND-BOUND: Kyle Okposo

Wednesday, 05.16.2007 / 2:52 PM ET / News
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LONG ISLAND-BOUND: Kyle Okposo\r\n

KYLE OKPOSO

Right Wing
Height: 6-0     
Weight: 195     
Shoots: Right
Born: April 16, 1988 – St. Paul, Minnesota  
2006-07 Team: Minnesota Golden Gophers (WCHA)
Acquired: Islanders 2006 first-round draft pick (7th overall)


2006-07 Overview

Kyle Okposo had quite the freshman year with the WCHA's Minnesota Golden Gophers. Despite the team falling short of their ultimate goal of a national championship, they won both the WCHA regular season title and playoff championship.

In 40 games, the St. Paul native placed second on the team in goals with 19 and second in points with 40. His point total was tied for seventh in the country among rookies. Okposo also ranked tied for third on the team with three game-winning goals and six power play goals.

Okposo's year-long performance earned him spots on the WCHA All-Rookie team and the All-WCHA second team. He was the only freshman picked to be on one of the top two conference teams.

Of his 19 goals, the most magnificent was his game-winning tally against Minnesota State-Mankato on Dec. 12. Okposo received the puck at the side of the net, brought the puck and his stick back between his legs before lifting the biscuit over the sprawled goalie for a 2-1 Gophers lead.

The Islanders' 2006 number one draft pick missed four of Minnesota's games while representing the United States at the World Junior Championships in Sweden. He helped lead the US to the bronze medal.

What They're Saying...
Islanders assistant GM Ryan Jankowski: "Kyle had a very good year for a freshman at the University of Minnesota. He played in all situations and saw plenty of quality ice time, which helped his development, considering he was playing at such a high level of hockey. Kyle represented the United States well at the World Juniors. Although he finished the tournament with one point, he played a key role in the team's offense and at times showed his excellent skills and determination. Kyle plays a strong two-way game as a power type forward. His ability to protect the puck and show an extra gear of speed in the offensive zone is his greatest strength as a player." 

 

Before He Was a Gopher
Okposo played high school hockey at Shattuck in Minnesota. In two seasons at the Midget level he compiled 191 points. During his senior year, he joined the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL.  Okposo helped lead the Buccaneers to the league title after compiling 27-31-58 in 50 games. He placed second on Des Moines in goals, assists and points.

What's Next?
Okposo has a tough decision to make this summer. At only 19 years of age, Okposo still has three years of eligibility left at the college level. However, many top prospects leave school early and sign with their respective NHL teams in order to play at the pro level and accelerate the development process.  Okposo has indicated he will tell Minnesota head coach Don Lucia of his intentions by June 1.

"What is most important right now is that Kyle continues to develop as a player and a leader," said Jankowski. "Kyle fits the mold of players we are bringing to this organization. He has the potential to be a player that Islander fans will love watching for a long time."

 

Newyorkislanders.com PROJECTion
Being a native of Minnesota, Okposo grew up dreaming of a national championship with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. After another early exit by Minnesota in the NCAAs, the decision to leave school early is even harder for Okposo.

Islanders GM Garth Snow has made it clear he will not talk Okposo into leaving college early. Snow will welcome him with open arms when Okposo is ready, but he wants it to be the youngster's decision.

No matter what transpires this summer, Okposo has the makings of being a top-notch NHL power forward.

 


STATS

  Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2005-06 Des Moines Buccaneers USHL 50 27 31 58 56 11 5 11 16 8
2006-07 U. of Minnesota NCAA 40 19 21 40 34

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 7 2 4 2 6
J. Bailey 7 2 3 1 5
N. Leddy 7 0 5 0 5
R. Strome 7 2 2 1 4
K. Okposo 7 2 1 1 3
C. Clutterbuck 7 2 1 1 3
B. Nelson 6 2 0 1 2
F. Nielsen 7 1 1 -1 2
N. Kulemin 7 1 1 0 2
L. Visnovsky 4 0 2 5 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 3 4 1 .926 2.30
M. Neuvirth 0 0 0 1.000 0.00

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