ShareThis Page
Sports

Okposo leaves Gophers to sign with Isles

| Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007

Okposo leaves Gophers to sign with Isles

Okposo leaves Minnesota to sign with New York Islanders

Eds: UPDATES with Islanders comment.

MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota sophomore forward Kyle Okposo is leaving college to sign with the New York Islanders, the school announced Wednesday.

Okposo, selected seventh overall in the 2006 draft, is the eighth Gophers player to forgo remaining eligibility to turn pro since the end of the 2005-06 season.

The Islanders have begun negotiations with Okposo on an entry-level contract.

"We're extremely excited about the possibility of Kyle joining our organization soon," general manager Garth Snow said. "He's a great talent, one of the most exciting prospects in the game. Kyle has the dedication and character we want for our franchise."

The native of St. Paul, who played at prep school Shattuck St. Mary's in Faribault, is playing with the U.S. Under-20 national team at the world junior championships in the Czech Republic. He'll join the Islanders following the tournament.

It wasn't immediately clear if Okposo would go straight to the NHL or be assigned to New York's AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

"While I'm disappointed Kyle is leaving at this point of the season, his dream has been to play pro hockey," Minnesota coach Don Lucia said. "It is unfortunate that the Islanders put him in a very difficult position. I think our team has made strides the last few weeks, and I'm looking forward to the second half of the season."

After finishing with 19 goals and 21 assists as a freshman, Okposo had a slow start to the season with an eight-game scoreless streak after a three-point game in the opener. He had seven goals and four assists in 18 games for the Gophers (9-8-1).

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me