While we're sobering up from our post-draft lottery partying, it's a good time to mention that Kyle's fans will still have some additional chances to see him on the ice this season.
The Islanders announced this week that Okposo will join the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for their upcoming playoff series. Bridgeport will be playing two games at Nassau Coliseum this weekend (Friday and Saturday), so it's an affordable and local way to see Kyle in action. Please proceed to the Sound Tigers homepage for tickets or visit the Nassau Coliseum box office during business hours.
Unfortunately Okposo Net can't be there to cover the games, but we'll try our best to provide post game wrap-ups of Kyle's performances.
As for the move itself, we hate to play the spoiler, but we're a bit unsure of what it accomplishes. While it will increase the gate and profile of the Isles' top farm team (and likely improve the team's chances), there could be some drawbacks. Of course there's always a minor risk of injury, and it seems a bit suspect sending arguably your best offensive NHLer down to the minors after his season is complete. While Kyle may appreciate the ice time and competition, we don't think many other teams in the area would make this kind of move. For example, could you see David Wright being sent to Buffalo in September to help the Mets' farm team with a playoff run? Not likely.
Again, it's not a terrible move, but if something went wrong the Islanders would never hear the end of it.
On to the draft lottery, which, as you may know, the Islanders won! While there are some people arguing for the Isles to choose defenseman Victor Hedman, the clear pick is John Tavares.
One might say that defense wins champions, and that's true, but when your offense runs second-to-last in the league in goals scored for consecutive years, you need scoring forwards. Tavares is that, plain and simple. He is the finisher that Kyle needs to elevate his game. And for good measure, when healthy, we don't feel the team's defense is that dreadful anyway. The blueline needs some help, but the offense was non-existent this past season. In our minds, there is no debate.
And now, to brighten your mood, we present the full 2009 NHL Entry draft selections that the Islanders currently hold. There should be PLENTY of chances to upgrade the team in many areas. Some selections have not yet been determined, but we are projecting the order with the most likely scenarios taken into account (please see the notes where applicable). Without further ado, and to the best of our knowledge, here they are:
(Round 1) 1st Overall
(Round 1) ~30th Overall (Final slot to be determined by San Jose's playoff finish)
(Round 2) 31st Overall
(Round 2) 37th Overall (Formerly belonged to Toronto)
(Round 2) ~60th Overall (Final slot to be determined by Boston's playoff finish)
(Round 3) 62nd Overall
(Round 4) 92nd Overall
(Round 4) Conditional (Improves to 3rd round if Pittsburgh defeats Philadelphia in playoffs)
(Round 5) 121st Overall
(Round 6) 151st Overall
(Round 7) 181st Overall
This order, of course, assumes the Islanders do not participate in any trades. Seeing the above, don't you think a team can improve itself fairly rapidly?