Paging Kyle Okposo
The former 7th overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft has been invisible this season for the Islanders and it’s time that the organization looks to trade Okposo, if they haven’t started already.
Many players had to shake off rust from their time off during the lockout, but the rust should have come off during the first two weeks of the season. Through 22 games, Okposo has two goals and six assists for a measly eight points, which is good for seventh on the Islanders.
This is absolutely unacceptable for a former top pick and especially on a team that is in need of some scoring from players that aren't named Tavares, Moulson and Boyes.
Okposo was able to score a goal and assist on two others in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs last week that the Islanders let slip away yet again.
But don’t let that fool you. He is a shell of what he had been the past few seasons and is not the player the Islanders thought they were getting in 2006.
Let’s look back at what could have happened to Okposo.
Could it be because he left the University of Minnesota early?
Maybe, he left in the middle of his sophomore season and there have been questions on why he left.
Supposedly Garth Snow didn’t like the way he was growing as a player at Minnesota.
Was he rushed to the NHL?
After he left Minnesota, he played 35 games in Bridgeport and then finished the year with nine games with the Islanders. He would never play another game in the AHL.
Was he asked to do too much when he first got called up?
When he played in his first full season with the Islanders, in 2008-2009, the aging duo of Doug Weight and Bill Guerin, a declining Trent Hunter and Blake Comeau and a young Frans Nielsen and Josh Bailey surrounded him. There was also Mike Comrie.
He was the guy the team looked too and he didn’t disappoint, leading them in goals with 18 and was second in points with 39.
Now let’s look at the positives of holding onto him.
He is only 24 years old and most athletes in all sports hit their prime between 25-30 years old.
He hasn’t had the pleasure of playing with a good second line center. He has never really played with John Tavares and as much as Islanders fans love Nielsen, he truly is one of the best third line centers in the NHL, not a dominant second line center.
Okposo might not be ready to be a top-six forward in the NHL, but being on a team like the Islanders means he needs to put the puck in the net and be a top player.
In my opinion, if they are able to trade Okposo they likely won’t find a first round pick back for him, or even a player who can make an immediate difference. But it might be better to trade him now than continually run him out on the second line every night when he should be playing on the fourth line.
If he was on another team he might be able to hide and grow as a player but not on this team. Not now.
Unless there is a divine miracle, the playoffs do not appear to be in the Islanders cards this season. Moving Okposo, especially at this point of the year, would allow the Isles to give Nino Niederreiter, Brock Nelson or even John Persson a chance to play big time minutes at the end of the season and see if they too should be part of the future of this team.
Time for sitting and waiting is over, make the move Garth.