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NYI DRAFT CENTRAL: Alex Pietrangelo

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

The 2008 draft pool is considered the deepest in years and the Islanders are set to select higher in this year’s Entry Draft than they have in the past seven. With the Islanders selecting fifth in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft on Friday, June 20 in Ottawa, many highly-touted prospects will be available for the Isles to choose from. Each week leading up to the draft, will feature a new player who is likely to go early in this year’s draft.


Team: Niagara IceDogs (OHL)
Position: Defenseman
Born: January 18, 1990 in King City, ON (Age 18)
Height: 6-4
Weight: 210
Shoots: Right
ISS Mid-Season Ranking: 5

2007-08 Regular Season: Games Played (60), Goals (13), Assists (40), Points (53), PIM (94)

2008 Playoffs: Games Played (6), Goals (5), Assists (4), Points (9), PIM (4).

Alex Pietrangelo
Update: Pietrangelo finished the 2007-08 regular season ranked seventh among OHL defensemen in points with 53. Pietrangelo helped lead the Niagara IceDogs to a fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, where they defeated the Ottawa 67’s in a four-game sweep. The IceDogs currently trail the Oshawa Generals 3-1 in their second round, best-of-seven series. Pietrangelo ranked second in points among defensemen in the OHL playoffs, tallying five goals and four assists in six games. However, his season has been ended prematurely. Suffering from mononucleosis and an enlarged spleen, Pietrangelo has been told by doctors to stay off skates for six weeks. His absence from the postseason is highly unlikely to affect the scouts’ view of this gifted young defenseman.

Strengths: Uses his 6-4, 210-pound frame to his advantage, and is known as an offensive minded defenseman. His biggest attribute so far has been his plus/minus rating, which was plus-40 in 2006-07 and plus-29 in 2007-08. His efficiency when on the ice helped the IceDogs score a league-high 326 goals in 2006-07.

What They’re Saying:

“Alex is a towering, smooth skating mobile defenseman, with great offensive skills. Pietrangelo plays with great maturity and smarts at both ends of the ice. His calmness and confidence while handling the puck, makes him a tremendous offensive threat from the back end. He has slick hands, great vision, and the skating ability to rush the puck at will. He quarterbacks the power-play, makes hard crisp passes and has a hard shot from the point. Not a physically dominating defenseman, but uses his great foot speed, positioning and long reach to fend off the opposition very well. Reacts very well under pressure, reads the ice well, and makes quick, smart decisions.”

-    C. MacNamara / ISS Scout

“This kid will eventually one day be like Chris Pronger. Guys say he is not as tough as Pronger, but he is still a young man and when he becomes 21, look at the potential in the kid.”

-    Mario Cicchillo / Niagara Head Coach

“Pietrangelo boasts more untapped upside than any of the top defensemen.”

-    Matthew Wuest / The Hockey News

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