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by Jason Lockhart / New York Islanders

Kyle Okposo, photo by Christopher Pasatieri
Bridgeport Sound Tigers head coach Jack Capuano was no stranger to Kyle Okposo when he arrived to practice on January 10. Capuano coached the young Okposo at the Under-18 World Junior tournament in Slovakia and was delighted to hear his former player would join him at the AHL level. Coach Capuano spoke to after informing Okposo he was making the jump to the big club.

What sort of expectations did you have of Kyle?

"I had a chance to coach Kyle a couple years of ago and see him on the international level. His development and maturity has carried over from that experience. He's a high character kid that wants to learn every day. Kyle is easy to communicate with and he applies what he has learned. He wants to be the best and excel, no matter what level he's at. Even during practice he wants to be the best."

What are Kyle's strengths?

"He has tremendous hockey sense. Kyle sees the ice extremely well and utilizes all four guys on the ice. He has exceptional skill and offensive instincts."

What does Kyle still need to work on?

"It will be important for Kyle to cut his shift times down when he's at the NHL level. Also, his defensive zone coverage still needs improvement, but it's getting better. He has to work on getting in the blocking lanes better. His physical game will come with time. But it's important not to take away from his offensive creativity as he fine-tunes  the other parts of his game."

Jack Capuano
How would you evaluate Kyle's progress since he's been with you?

"Kyle has been progressing along quite well, especially from a positional standpoint. I thought his conditioning was going to be a concern, but he's improved since coming here. He's only going to get better has he practices more."

What sort of potential does Kyle have?

"Kyle is a gifted athlete who has tremendous potential. He's someone who really knows how to use his teammates. He's great at distributing the puck and finding the openings."

How much will it help that he'll be playing on the Islanders with some familiar faces?

"The first thing we did when Kyle played for Bridgeport was we put him with experienced guys like Frans and Tambellini. He should have some comfort playing with those guys at the next level. But the Islanders also have some great leaders starting with Billy Guerin and his support staff. He should fit right in."

What is Kyle like off the ice?

"Kyle is a very humble kid and is a great teammate. He's a great guy to have in the locker room and is always trying to have fun out there. He really loves the game. I'm really excited for him that he's getting this  opprtunity with the Islanders."


Catch Kyle Okposo in his first game with the Islanders when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, March 18 at the Nassau Coliseum.

To purchase tickets today, click here.
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