Each day as we get closer to the June 24 NHL Entry Draft in St. Paul, MN, the Islanders Draft Central will update with a new North American and European player profile. Below, each of the top 30 North American and European prospects will be listed.
The Islanders have a history of drafting collegiate players with USHL backgrounds. Prospect Connor Murphy most recently played for Team USA Under-18 and has committed to playing college hockey at Miami University this fall.
In 2006, the Islanders drafted Kyle Okposo 7th overall. He played USHL hockey for the Des Moines Buccaneers, but then went on to play two years at the University of Minnesota before joining the Islanders.
The Islanders have also drafted Matt Donovan (2008, 96th overall from the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Jason Gregoire (2007, 7th overall from the Lincoln Stars) and Blake Kessel (2007, 166th overall from the Waterloo Black Hawks) from college/USHL teams. In April, Donovan left the University of Denver to sign an amateur-tryout contract with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and played in the Isles' AHL affiliates' six remaining regular season games. His entry-level contract will kick in at the start of the 2011-12 season.
Gregoire (University of North Dakota) and Kessel (University of New Hampshire) have also decided to forgo the remainder of their collegiate careers opting to turn pro.