Editorials

New York Islanders Player Grade: Kyle Okposo

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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The narrative that will plague New York Islanders Right Winger Kyle Okposo’s 2015-16 season will be that it was a contract year for the 28-year-old. Unfortunately, such a narrative masks what actually happened for Kyle Okposo this season.

There’s no sense in hiding it. Kyle Okposo’s contract is set to expire at the end of this season. After eight years with the organization, it looks like the St. Paul, Minnesota native might actually leave Brooklyn before the July 1st deadline.

Just a week ago Jared Clinton of The Hockey News ran a story that suggested that both Okposo’s representative and representatives from the New York Islanders have yet to meet. Which invariably mean that he’ll walk come July 1st.

Like Clinton suggests, it will be difficult to replace Okposo in the Islanders lineup. Ranking second on the team in terms of points, Okposo is as close to a guarantee for 20 goals in a year as you can get.

Regular Season

GP

GAPTS+/-PIMSOG%PPGPPASHGSHAGWG79224264-45120210.971600

4

*Stats taken from ESPN.com

Kyle Okposo’s Grade

Okposo was six points shy of reaching a career-best 70 points in a single season. A milestone he surely would have loved to have hit. His points total still place him firmly in second on the team and at the pinnacle of their offensive talents.

Okposo was also a major factor on the man advantage. Getting 36% of his points on the power-play. Helping the Islanders reach 7th in the league in terms of power play efficiency with 23.1%.

According to Hockey-Reference.com, Okposo also increased his offensive and defensive point shares from 5.3 to 7.2 from last year. His strengths at both ends of the ice enabled his team to generate offensive opportunities.

Final Grade

He played a great season. It wasn’t a career year for Okposo. But that shouldn’t matter to him. He did everything right, and he was and will be rewarded for it not only on the stat sheet but in his pocket book.

The fact that Kyle Okposo is in the final year of a contract shouldn’t have much bearing on his final grade. There can be no suggestion that Okposo was simply playing for a payout this year. As a UFA he was probably going to get it anyways.

Next: John Tavares: Player Grade

What his year showed is just how consistent Okposo can be. And because of that, teams will come calling for his services. Okposo will get his dues. He’s already being paid $4.5 million by the Islanders this year. Expect his next contract, in Brooklyn or not, to top $5.5 million.

Final Grade: A-

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