My Islanders Account


  • RSS


Wednesday, 05.30.2007 / 5:08 PM ET / News
By Jason Lockhart  - Website/Publications Coordinator
Share with your Friends

Hard work has turned recently-signed prospect Dustin Kohn into an effective two-way defenseman

Dustin Kohn
Dustin Kohn, the Islanders' latest addition to the defense corps, is a prototypical Western Canadian. As a kid, Kohn learned to skate (almost) before he learned to walk, and by the age of five he had his own set of equipment. At six he was already playing organized hockey, with his parents the driving force behind his love for the game.

"We lived out of town, so we had plenty of room to build our own make-shift rink in the backyard," Kohn told Wednesday night. "My dad used to flood the backyard and he'd skate around with me and my older brother."

While Kohn was too young to remember the Edmonton Oilers during their hey-day, considering he was only three at the time of their last Stanley Cup in 1990, he was still an avid Oilers fan and dreamed of one day lacing up his skates for an NHL team.

Kohn's parents were the biggest proponents of their son's dream, taking him to morning practices and buying him new skates and sticks every year.

"They're the reason I've been given this opportunity," said Kohn about his new three-year contract with the Islanders. "Without their dedication when I was younger, this could have never happened."

Starting at six, Kohn continued his ascent through the hockey ranks, striving to play at the highest level available to him.

"Billy Moores, who is now an assistant with the Edmonton Oilers, always told me I should play at the highest level possible," said Kohn. "Another important coach of mine was Ted Olson, who coached me when I was 11-14. He taught me how to work hard, but at the same time how to have fun. He passed away five years ago, but I consider him my most influential coach growing up."

By the time Kohn was 15, he still hadn't chosen a definite position. He had been playing both defense and forward, but it was during his teenage years when he started to lean towards defense.

"I played a lot of both positions, but I realized I liked being an offensive defenseman," said Kohn. "I liked being able to play the point on the power play."

At age 16, Kohn was ready to make the move to junior hockey. There was little question that he would play in Canadian Juniors, since it was considered the most competitive hockey at that age.

In his first season with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League (WHL), Kohn was only 3-6-9 in 52 games. Sixteen-year-olds, Kohn explained, do not get much ice time. There were games he'd only have one shift, and others where he would have more if a player was injured. At this time, Calgary had plenty depth on defense.

What a difference a year made as Kohn jumped up to 8-35-43 in 72 games in his second season, proving he had the potential to be a contributor. It helped that he played the point on a power play that included current NHL players Andrew Ladd (Carolina) and Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim). His sophomore performance gave the Islanders reason to draft him in the second round of the 2005 Entry Draft.

"Dustin is an exceptional skater and tremendously mobile," said Islanders assistant general manager Ryan Jankowski. "His game allows him to chase down pucks and move them up the ice on breakouts effectively."

However, Islanders management wanted Kohn to focus more on the side of the game that is generally connected with his position – defense. That was no problem for Kohn.

Kohn showed vast improvements the next season. While his offensive numbers went down, he responded with a greater effort in the defensive end. In his final season, he found that perfect balance, setting career highs in points with 50, while finishing first on the team with a +23.

"In my first full season I was all about putting up as many points as possible," admitted Kohn. "But when I was 17, I cut back on the offense and tried to focus on making fewer mistakes in our own end. My final year of 06-07 was my best year because I put up good offensive numbers, while being responsible in our own end."

While Kohn has honed both his offensive and defensive skills, he's hoping this new contract and his experience will help him at his third Islanders training camp.

"Each year I'm at training camp I expect to gain confidence," said Kohn. "I'm going to be confident with the puck and compete hard each day. It was pretty intimidating coming to my first training camp at 18 and playing with all of these NHL players. But now that it's my third camp I'm more used to it and will be more comfortable."

Now that the Islanders have signed Kohn to a three-year deal, he knows it's the next step to earning a spot with the team in the future.

"Dustin has developed over time and is still a work in progress," said Jankowski. "But he is certainly someone that brings defensive depth to this organization. He'll get a chance this fall to prove himself against NHLers. We want to see that he's stronger, sure of himself and has taken the necessary steps to becoming an NHL player."

Getting to Know...Dustin Kohn

Skate Brand: Bauer
Stick Brand: Bauer
Favorite NHL team growing up: Edmonton
Favorite NHL player growing up: Doug Weight
Favorite movie: Backdraft/Ladder 49
Do you like the shootout? Yes
Do you think the NHL should send its players to the Olympics? Yes
How old were you on your first date? 13
Favorite Superpower: Flying
Green day or Eminem? Green Day
Favorite non-North American City: Anywhere in Sweden
Alternate Career: Golfing
Family Guy or Simpsons: Family Guy
Superman or Batman? Batman
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Favorite sport other than hockey: Golf
The actor who would play you in a movie: Paul Walker
If you could have dinner with two people who would they be? Bobby Orr and Tiger Woods
If you could be part of one moment in history what would it be? Any Stanley Cup winning team
What's playing on your iPod? Mainly country - George Strait, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, also Dave Matthews Band and John Mayer




1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47


K. Okposo 49 15 26 -7 41
J. Tavares 48 19 21 -4 40
F. Nielsen 51 15 18 0 33
B. Nelson 51 20 11 1 31
M. Grabovski 51 9 15 2 24
J. Bailey 50 9 15 5 24
N. Leddy 51 3 20 -8 23
A. Lee 51 7 15 1 22
R. Strome 40 5 14 -6 19
C. Clutterbuck 50 11 4 6 15
J. Halak 12 11 4 .917 2.28
T. Greiss 14 6 2 .929 2.26
Pro Shops
Islanders TV
Iceworks 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 © 1999-2016 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy |  AdChoices |  Terms of Use |  Contact  Us |  Employment |  Webmaster | Terms of Use