Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Minnesota's Okposo featured on NHL.com

NHL.com's Evan Grossman wrote a feature article on Minnesota sophomore Kyle Okposo. The article discusses Okposo's now famous between-the-legs goal against Minnesota State last December and his decision to return to Minnesota for his sophomore season. The article also talks about the high level of competition that the WCHA provides.

WCHA Blog's Take: From the article: "While the Islanders are probably crushed on the inside that Okposo, a 6-foot power forward with soft hands, announced he’ll go back to school for another year, they have publicly supported his decision."

Multiple sources have confirmed that Okposo was told by the Islanders that if he elected to leave Minnesota after his freshman season, his choices for this upcoming season would NOT have included playing for either the Islanders or their AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Islanders felt so strongly that Okposo was not ready for the NHL / AHL that they suggested playing major junior as an alternative if he wanted to leave Minnesota.

With that being said, it's not a surprise that Okposo elected to return to the Gophers.

From December 10 until the end of last season, Okposo scored just four goals. It was clear that the loss of Tyler Hirsch adversely affected Okposo's production. This season, Okposo will need to work on being more consistent in the offensive end.