As recently as five years ago, Islanders defenseman Mark Streit
was on the verge of forgoing his dream of reaching the NHL. By the age of 26, Streit had only played a brief stint in North America, but he never made it past the AHL level.
Today, at the age of 31, Streit can now call himself an NHL All-Star, having been selected to represent the Islanders earlier this month.
Streit’s path to becoming one of the elite defenseman in the league took a major turn in the summer of 2004. While continuing his strong play in the Swiss Elite League, Streit––in his final year of draft eligibility––was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the ninth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. After one final year in Switzerland, he made his NHL debut on October 8, 2005 in Toronto.
Following three seasons with the Canadiens, during which his ice time and point totals increased each season, Streit signed with the Islanders this past offseason.
Just three months into his tenure on Long Island, Streit has proven to be a valuable signing, earning a spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star team. To add to the drama, he will have the opportunity to return to Montreal for All-Star weekend.
"I'm just really honored and thrilled to play there," said Streit, who will be joined by four of his former teammates, who still play for the Canadiens––Andrei Markov, Mike Komisarek, Alexei Kovalev and Carey Price. "It will be nice to see those guys. It's going to be sweet to go back and have fun with them."
Streit has produced many of his 35 points this season quarterbacking the power play. Whether it's threading a pass down low or taking a hard shot from the point, defenders have had to play close attention to his every move.
The NHL has certainly taken notice of Streit's shot in particular. He took part in the popular hardest shot event during the Super Skills Competition. Streit was seen practicing his slap shot during practice this week in anticipation of the competition.
And don’t forget that Mark Streit
will be at the Islanders Team Store at the Broadway Mall in Hicksville on January 27th. Click here
for more details.Click here
to see the complete All-Star lineups.Click here
to read an Islanders Illustrated magazine feature about Mark Streit
. Click here
to watch an IslandersTV video featuring Mark Streit
Click here to read NHL.com's story about Islanders Hall of Famer Clark Gillies' return to Montreal for All-Star Weekend—where it all began for him.