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The New York Islanders are coming off of a very rocky 2010-2011 season. One of the major problems was injuries, and it showed in the standings. One player who was greatly missed last season was Kyle Okposo.
The Islander is full of young talent but one always stood out. Okposo has the determination and the skill to lead his team to the post season. Kyle’s breakout season was the 2008-09 season. During that year, Okposo was second on the team in points with 39 (18 goals, 21 assists) behind Mark Streit.
During the preseason, Okposo suffered a mild concussion. Dion Phaneuf of the Toronto Maple Leafs was responsible for the hit to the head. Okposo was taken off the ice on a stretcher, but managed to make it back for the season opener in October.
Once again at the top of the team, Okposo returned for his best season yet. Still second on the team under John Tavares, Kyle still proves to be one of the best. Okposo finished the season with 52 points (19 goals, 33 assists), a big step up from the year before.
Another unfortunate turn of events occurred before the 2010-2011 season started. Okposo was limited to only 38 games due to a shoulder injury he sustained during training camp. He returned to action late in the season to record 20 points (5 goals, 15 assists), but it was a rocky season for the Islanders top winger. Much like Okposo’s other seasons, he still was the glue that held the team together.
The 2011-12 season is coming up soon this October. Okposo is as healthy as ever and is ready to play a full season. Time has shown us that Kyle will be a key factor in the Islanders future on Long Island. Okposo will also be wearing the “A” on his chest, but that could change. He was the alternate to head captain Doug Weight, who has since retired, leaving the team without a captain. Okposo could very well wear the “C” this season and lead his team to victory road. This can add to Okposo’s already impressive resume, along with the signing of a five-year extension last May.
Okposo is the future of the Islanders’ proud organization and has proved to be so. With him up front and possibly leading the team, the other 29 teams in the NHL should take notice of the Islanders this season. With a healthy team on the rise, the future is looking bright.