Kyle Okposo

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Kyle Okposo
Kyle Okposo 2013-05-09.JPG
Okposo with the Islanders during the 2013 playoffs
Born (1988-04-16) April 16, 1988 (age 25)
St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 216 lb (98 kg; 15 st 6 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shoots Right
NHL team New York Islanders
National team  United States
NHL Draft 7th overall, 2006
New York Islanders
Playing career 2007–present

Kyle Henry Erovre Okposo (born April 16, 1988) is an American professional ice hockey right winger, an alternate captain of the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was drafted seventh overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders, following a season in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with the Des Moines Buccaneers in which he was named the most valuable player of the USHL playoffs and the league's top rookie. He helped the Buccaneers to a Clark Cup victory.

Playing career[edit]

Okposo was born to a Nigerian father and an American mother. His father immigrated to the United States as a teenager, and eventually earned a Ph.D.

During his freshman season at University of Minnesota, Okposo was placed at the center position, even though he is a natural winger. Throughout most of the season this became his most common position due to the abundance of wingers on the team.

Okposo with the Islanders in 2011

In January 2007, he played for the U.S. National Junior Team in the 2007 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. On June 7, 2007, Okposo announced he would be returning to the University of Minnesota for the 2007–08 season. Okposo played the 2007–08 season for the University of Minnesota ice hockey team until December 19, 2007. On that morning Okposo notified his teammates at the university of his decision to leave the team. Soon after, both the Gophers and the New York Islanders announced officially that Okposo decided to leave college after the completion of his current semester and would then begin his professional hockey career.

Okposo's decision to leave school was considered controversial by some. As a response to questioning, Islanders general manager Garth Snow told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, "Quite frankly, we weren't happy with the program. They have a responsibility to coach, to make Kyle a better player, and they were not doing that."[1]

Okposo with the Islanders in 2013

Coach Don Lucia then claimed that the Islanders put him "in a very difficult position." [2] In his response to Snow's comments, Lucia emphasized the importance of obtaining a degree, "We have had numerous players sign and play in the NHL, but just as important many more move on to have successful careers after graduating from the University of Minnesota. We have always and will continue to work to ensure our players reach their potential on the ice and in the classroom."[3]

Okposo signed an entry-level contract with the Islanders and was assigned to their top minor league affiliate, the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He made his NHL debut on March 18, 2008, against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and netted his first career NHL goal on March 21, 2008, against the New Jersey Devils, a game winner scored on the powerplay against Martin Brodeur.[4] He also scored in his final game of the season in a game against the New York Rangers.

On September 17, 2009, Okposo suffered a mild concussion after a check to the head by Dion Phaneuf. He returned to the Islanders' lineup for their opening game on October 3, 2009.

On May 25, 2011, Okposo signed a five-year, $14 million contract with the New York Islanders.[5]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Okposo with the Islanders in 2009.
Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2005-06 Des Moines Buccaneers USHL 50 27 31 58 56 11 5 11 16 8
2006–07 University of Minnesota WCHA 33 17 20 37 30 7 2 1 3 4
2007–08 University of Minnesota WCHA 18 7 4 11 6
2007–08 Bridgeport Sound Tigers AHL 35 9 19 28 12
2007–08 New York Islanders NHL 9 2 3 5 2
2008–09 New York Islanders NHL 65 18 21 39 36
2008–09 Bridgeport Sound Tigers AHL 2 1 0 1 2
2009–10 New York Islanders NHL 80 19 33 52 34
2010–11 New York Islanders NHL 38 5 15 20 40
2011–12 New York Islanders NHL 79 24 21 45 46
2012–13 New York Islanders NHL 48 4 20 24 38 6 3 1 4 5
2013–14 New York Islanders NHL 71 27 42 69 51
NHL totals 390 99 155 254 247 6 3 1 4 5

International[edit]

Medal record
Competitor for  United States
Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Bronze 2007 Mora
Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
2005 United States WHC17 5 2 2 4 2
2007 United States WJC 7 0 1 1 2
2008 United States WJC 6 1 5 6 2
2009 United States WC 9 2 3 5 10
2010 United States WC 6 1 2 3 0
2012 United States WC 8 2 1 3 0
Junior int'l totals 18 3 8 11 6
Senior int'l totals 23 5 6 11 10

Awards and honors[edit]

Award Year
USHL
Rookie of the Year 2006
Clark Cup playoffs MVP 2006
First All-Star Team 2006
All-Rookie Team 2006
College
All-WCHA Rookie Team 2007
All-WCHA Second Team 2007

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Harris: NHL's Islanders sign Okposo away from Minnesota". USA Today. January 2, 2008. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Okposo leaves Minnesota to sign with New York Islanders". USA Today. December 19, 2007. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Isles GM says Lucia's coaching hurt Okposo". Star Tribune. 2007-12-20. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  4. ^ "Okposo's first a game winner over Devils". NewsDay. 2008-03-21. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  5. ^ "Okposo agrees to 5-year deal with Islanders". Yahoo!. 2011-05-25. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ryan O'Marra
New York Islanders first round pick
2006
Succeeded by
Josh Bailey