May 11, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Mark Streit (2) and New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo (21) take the ice for pre-game warmups before game six of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Islanders Summer Report Card: Kyle Okposo

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NASSAU VETERANS MEMORIAL COLISEUM OF LEARNING

 

Student Data

 

  • Name: Kyle Okposo
  • Evaluation Year:2013
  • Age: 25
  • Undergraduate : 2006
  • Days Absent: 0
  • Scholarship: 5 years/$14,000,000(expires after 2015-16)
  • Achievements: 48GP, 4G, 20A, 24PTS, -2 +/-, 38PIM

 

Class List and Grade History

 

  • Skating: B
  • Shooting: B
  • Passing: A
  • Defense: C
  • Leadership: A

 

Professors Comments:

Kyle Okposo definitely didn’t light the scoreboard on fire during the 2012-13 campaign, but he was extremely generous in the assist category(20A) ranking 4th on the team in that department.

After coming off a season in which he produced 24G in 79 games, we all thought that he would light the lamp for a few more this season.  Notching 4 goals in 48 games was quite surprising, and in this being his sixth year in the league, we were all expecting better results offensively.

Could it have been the lockout shortened season? It quite possibly could have been because as the season progressed and the playoffs were in sight, the real Okposo came to life. The one we have all been waiting so patiently to see.

During the stretch run his play improved a great deal and his work ethic was second to none.  Who could forget that laser beam against the Caps to secure a very crucial point that ultimately would help the Isles get into the post-season tournament. I’ve watched the replay a million times and still have no idea where and how he beat Braden Holtby.

Okposo’s skill set is off the charts with his combination of strength and skill.  He is a nightmare in the corners and rarely loses a one-on-one battle along the boards.

Kyle has a tremendous shot, deceptive speed and the ability to crash the net but this has to translate into more goals for the winger in the upcoming seasons. As with many of the Islanders, accuracy has to be worked on this summer.

These are just some of the many intangibles that get us excited to see what he can bring to the table next season.

Professor Recommendation:

Okie as he is affectionately called by his teammates, also my moniker here at EyesOnIsles, is a work horse and it’s no secret that he is a huge leader in the locker room.

There is a reason he wears the “A” on his sweater, and it was never more clear than during the playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Down 3-1 to start the second period in game number  two, with the Isles appearing a little flat, Okposo did something he had never done in his Islander career to try and ignite a spark for his team.

He dropped the gloves ; but he didn’t just drop them folks, he absolutely pulverized Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen. Left him on the ice bloodied, and a mere 14 seconds later the Isles were back in the game on a goal by Colin McDonald and went on to win 4-3 to split in Pittsburgh.

Time and time again during that playoff series he did whatever his team asked of him. If he wasn’t scoring 3 goals in as many games, he was going into the corner with reckless abandon to dig the puck out to set up a teammate.

It seemed every time you would wonder, “man can we come back from this?”, Okie was throwing the puck at the back of Fleury to tie up a game, or freight training his way to a break away shorthanded tally.

It’s quite apparent the leadership and dedication Okposo brings to the Islander is top notch. I think the Okie we saw in the playoffs is the player we will see at the start of the 2013-14 season and going forward.

If he can get back to his 24G, 21A season of 2011-12, I believe he will have helped push the Isles right back into the playoffs and help to take them much deeper this time around.

 

Are you excited to see what Okie brings to the Isles next year?

 

 

Kyle Okposo: Promote or Expel?

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-MR

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