The New York Islanders will roll into the 2013-14 season with a lineup that looks awfully familiar to the one that was so successful in 2013. They’ll be relying on some bounce back performances, some young players, and a couple of depth additions in order to reach the postseason for a second consecutive year.
One player that is going to be relied upon heavily is that of forward Kyle Okposo. A notoriously slow starter, Okposo had a pretty poor regular season overall for the Islanders. When it was all said and done, though, he left the Islanders and their fans with some big expectations heading into the new season.
A quick look at his overall numbers in 2013 would leave one walking away pretty disappointed. A former seventh overall pick, Okposo posted only 24 points in 48 games during the regular season. More disappointing was his goal output, as he found the back of the net just four times all year.
Okposo finished the season on a high note, finding his rhythm both towards the end of the regular season, and in the playoffs, even if the Islanders were eliminated in the first round. He was a constant source of energy, and even some offense, in that first round series for the Isles.
The last month of the season featured 10 of Okposo’s 24 points, including a four-game point streak in which he notched six of them. In the playoffs, he started to find the back of the net more, with three of his four points in six games coming from goals. He was an offensive threat seemingly every shift in that series.
Heading into the new season, that will be the expectation for him. Okposo will be expected to come out and become one of the league’s more dangerous power forwards, with a terrific mix of size and scoring ability. Whether or not he can do it remains to be seen. If he does, the Islanders will be a major threat throughout the year, and in the postseason.