Former NY Islanders forward Kyle Okposo played in his 1,000th game tonight in the Buffalo Sabres' 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins.
Drafted seventh overall in 2006 by the Islanders, Okposo played 529 games in blue and orange over nine seasons, including seven as an alternate captain, before heading to Western New York in free agency before the 2016-17 season. Okposo scored 139 goals during his time on Long Island, totaling 369 points.
“It’s something that I will look back on very fondly, and I don’t do anything for praise or recognition,” Okposo said on his special night. “I just try to do the right thing. This is something that’s a byproduct of that, and it’s a special day for everybody that helped me get to this point.”
Okposo was presented with the traditional silver stick to commemorate the milestone, including mini sticks for his children.
The Buffalo Sabres put together a 27-minute video tribute from Okposo's family, former teammates, and coaches, who all put into perspective what a fantastic person he's been to be around both on and off the ice. A few names from his time with the Islanders include Cal Clutterbuck, Josh Bailey, John Tavares, Bill Guerin, and Matt Martin - who thanks Okie for being the first person to buy him dinner once he reached the NHL.
Perhaps Okposo's most memorable part of the night came before the puck was even dropped. Joined by his four children in the locker room, Okposo's son, Odin, read off the starting lineup for the Sabres before embracing his father with a big hug.
Okposo has been an advocate for mental health during his time in Buffalo, as experiences of his own forced him to miss time in 2017. Battling through his mental health affairs, Okposo was named captain of the Sabres in 2022.
Though his time with the Islanders wasn't the most memorable from a team perspective, Okposo was always a fan favorite on Long Island and is deserving of his longevity in the best league in the world.