When the New York Islanders picked Kyle Okposo with the seventh-overall selection in the 2006 NHL entry draft, this is the player that they were hoping for. The way he’s playing right now has been what they’ve been so patient for.
Everyone knows that defensemen take longer to develop in this league than forwards. There’s one exception to that line of thinking though. Power forwards typically take longer to develop than just about any other kind of player in the NHL. It takes so long for the kids to grow into adults, to pack on the pounds and to figure out where to pick the spots to use their strength without taking penalties or putting themselves out of position.
2013-14 might finally be the season that sees Okposo cash in on all of his potential chips. He has 16 points through 14 games this season and is on pace for a career-best 100 points.
Wait, hold on. Okposo is on pace for the century mark?
He is indeed. That’s how outstanding he’s been for the Islanders so far. Will he maintain that level of dominance and finish among the league’s top point producers? Maybe. Maybe not. This early in the year, where Okposo finishes isn’t nearly as important as how he’s started.
He hasn’t come out particularly hot and is approaching the game with a level of consistency that hasn’t been seen from him yet in his career. Now a veteran of more than 300 NHL games, Okposo has the experience, size and confidence necessary to be a top-end power-forward in the NHL.
The timing couldn’t be much better for the Islanders as they try to take the next step forward as a franchise and as a team.