Islanders Agree To Terms With Prospect Aaron Ness

Aaron Ness was drafted by the New York Islanders in the 2nd round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft at 40th overall. The 5'10" 170-lb defenseman has just completed his third season with the Golden Gophers at the University of Minnesota. He scored 2 goals and 12 assists for 14 points in 35 games played this year, following a 12-point sophomore season and 17-point rookie campaign.

The 20-year old d-man will report to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on an Amateur Tryout Contract for the remainder of the season, thus preventing a year being taken away from his three-year entry level deal that will officially kick in next season.

The young and rather smallish blue liner will look to get a taste of pro-hockey before starting a fresh year as a mainstay with the Sound Tigers defense corps. The ATO will give him a substantial amount of time to see what areas of his game need to be polished over the summer. It should also give him a sense of where he stands in regards to his size. Adding a good 10-15 pounds over the off-season may help him better with his transition next year.

Ness is amongst a list of prospects who are still developing and slowly making their way into the Islanders farm system. Rhett Rakhshani, who has 45 points in 54 games played in his first full season with the Sound Tigers this year, appeared in his first two NHL games this season and even appeared in this year's AHL all-star game. Ness may have another fresh face joining him in Connecticut next year too as 2009 12th overall pick Calvin de Haan will likely be joining the Islanders AHL affiliate. Many hockey fans will remember the top tandem of the 2010 World Juniors Canadian team featuring de Haan and current Isles blue liner Travis Hamonic.

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-Rob McGowan

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