K.O. to Start in Bridgeport
Sunday, 01.6.2008 / 5:18 PM ET / News
By Chris Botta
Top prospect Kyle Okposo could make his Sound Tigers home debut on Saturday at 7:00 pm vs. Springfield
It's official: top Islanders prospect Kyle Okposo will begin his professional career with the team's top minor league affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
"We discussed it at length as an organization and we feel it is best for Kyle to continue his development under coach Jack Capuano in Bridgeport," said Islanders general manager Garth Snow. "As we do with all of our prospects, we will monitor his progess daily and he will be brought along the right way under the tutelage of Jack and his staff. Kyle is a very exciting young prospect who is a vital part of the Islanders' future."
Okposo just completed a stint with Team USA at the World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic, where the Americans finished fourth. Garth Snow told NEWYORKISLANDERS.COM tonight that Okposo will likely arrive in Bridgeport on Wednesday in time to watch the Sound Tigers' home game that night against Portland. Okposo will have his first practice with the Sound Tigers on Thursday and make his debut on Friday night in Binghamton.
The prospect wing's Connecticut debut could be on Saturday at 7:00 pm when the Sound Tigers host Springfield. The Sound Tigers also have a home game on Sunday at 4:00 pm against Binghamton. Said Snow: "What better way to introduce Kyle to pro hockey than possibly with three games in three days"?
The Islanders drafted Okposo with the seventh overall selection in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. In a season and a half at the University of Minnesota, the 19-year-old St. Paul native played in a total of 58 games and scored 26 goals with 25 assists for 51 points. As a true freshman in 2006-07, Okposo scored 19 goals with 21 assists for 40 points in 40 games. That season, he was named to the All-WCHA Second Team and the WCHA All-Rookie Team. Okposo also finished second on Minnesota in goals and finished tied for third in the WCHA in freshman scoring.
Prior to being drafted by the Islanders, Okposo played for Des Moines of the USHL in the 2005-06 season. In 50 games, Okposo scored 27 goals with 31 assists for 58 points. He was named the USHL Rookie of the Year and the USHL Playoff MVP. Okposo was also named to the USHL First All-Star Team and the USHL All-Rookie Team.
"Kyle Okposo is too important to the New York Islanders for us to ever consider rushing him along," said Islanders head coach Ted Nolan. "This decision is without a doubt what's best for him. When he's ready, he'll be an Islander and he's going to be a very exciting player for our franchise."
JAN. 19 IS TOWN OF HEMPSTEAD NIGHT!
The New York Islanders are pleased to announce Town of Hempstead Night, presented by The Herald and Covanta, on Saturday, January 19 when the Islanders play host to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Residents of the Town of Hempstead receive up to 40% off tickets, with prices starting at just $16. January 19 is a night dedicated to honoring the Town of Hempstead, but also a night for all Islanders fans.
The Islanders will donate a portion of the proceeds to the game's ticket sales to the March of Dimes. The March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health: prematurity, birth defects, low birth weight.
Town supervisor Kate Murray will drop the ceremonial first puck.
Don't miss another exciting game at the Nassau Coliseum, when the Islanders honor the Town of Hempstead.
To purchase special discounted Town of Hempstead Night tickets, please call 1.800.882.ISLES ext. 3, e-mail the group sales department at firstname.lastname@example.org or bring your proof of residency to the Nassau Coliseum Box Office.