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2013 Draft Party a fun experience for fans, players

Thousands of fans gathered at Nassau Coliseum Sunday to watch the Isles make their first round pick

Monday, 07.01.2013 / 12:14 AM / News
By Sarah Holzberg
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2013 Draft Party a fun experience for fans, players
Thousands of fans gathered at Nassau Coliseum Sunday to watch the Isles make their first round pick
Matt Martin meets a young fan at the Draft Party (Photo: New York Islanders)

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The crowd Sunday at Nassau Coliseum picked up where they left off during the 2013 postseason and continued to “Rock the Barn.”

Thousands of Islanders fans poured into the Coliseum on Sunday afternoon to kick start the 2013-14 season. Doors opened at 1:30 for the Islanders’ 2013 NHL Draft Party, where fans enjoyed locker room tours, meet-and-greets with Islanders players and prospects, giant inflatables, a Ferris wheel and unique items from the Hockey Hall of Fame before the Islanders announced their first pick. In addition to the fun and games, the American Red Cross was on hand to accept blood donations.

“Every year I look forward to the draft party - it is one of my favorite days of the year,” said lifelong fan Kyle Rapon from Bethpage. “Every summer I call my father and we come down. It has become a family tradition.”

Fans got a chance to mingle, take photos and get autographs from current and former Islanders. “Mister Islander” himself, Bob Nystrom, enjoyed the festivities and meeting the energized Islanders faithful throughout the event.

“It is always really exciting coming to the draft parties,” Nystrom said. “I have such a great time with the fans. It’s an exciting time for the Islanders and every team, and I love coming back home. After a playoff run where the players truly gave it their all and have taken a giant step, we are really encouraged about next year, and I think they are going to do great.”

The fans relished the opportunity to take a tour of the locker rooms and see where their favorite players get prepped for the games. The chance to meet a few fan-favorites for autographs and pictures was a dream come true for so many committed fans.

Matt Martin, Ryan Strome, Matt Carkner and Eric Boulton were among the players taking part in the festivities.

“I think to see an outcome like this shows that hockey is on everyone’s mind throughout the offseason,” Strome, the Islanders fifth overall selection in the 2011 NHL Draft, said. “Everyone is excited about the upcoming season. Seeing these fans makes me wish we were in training camp right now.”

As the draft began, fans gathered into the stands and watched on the video board to see whose name Garth Snow was going to announce. Fans took guesses at who would don the orange and blue sweater on stage. The crowd was ecstatic when Snow announced his selection, Ryan Pulock, a defenseman from the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League.

“This pick was great,” Kevin Mazill, a fan from Glen Cove, said. “Pulock has an incredible slap shot. I really thought they were going to pick a goalie but this is the perfect way to go.”

Pulock and the rest of the Islanders 2013 draft picks will be on hand for mini-camp the second week of July, which culminates with the Orange vs. Blue Scrimmage on July 11 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets to the game can be purchased by clicking HERE.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
3 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 64 30 35 4 65
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 64 14 27 22 41
B. Nelson 64 17 19 7 36
F. Nielsen 64 11 25 12 36
A. Lee 58 20 13 13 33
J. Bailey 52 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 54 7 23 16 30
N. Leddy 64 8 18 15 26
T. Hamonic 54 4 21 15 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 0 .911 2.46
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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