The New York Islanders announced on Sunday that top prospect Kyle Okposo will begin his professional career with the team’s top development affiliate, the AHL’s 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. Okposo is expected to 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.
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, Minn., 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.