Islanders forward Kyle Okposo will be part of the U.S. squad at the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship in Berne and Zurich-Kloten, Switzerland on April 24-May 10. Islanders defenseman Mark Streit will compete for the host nation.
Okposo played in 65 games for the Islanders this season and scored 18 goals with 21 assists for 39 points. He led all Islanders rookies and finished second on the team overall in scoring and led the team in goals scored. He will compete in the two Bridgeport Sound Tigers playoff games held at the Coliseum this weekend, before leaving for Switzerland.
"Anytime you put that sweater on it's a really special feeling," Okposo said about playing for Team USA. "It's a great feeline. I've never won a Gold Medal, so this would be a nice place to start."
Streit, meanwhile, enjoyed a breakout season in his first campaign with the Islanders. The defenseman, who signed as a free agent before the start of the 2008-09 season, led the team with 56 total points (16g, 40a) in 74 games. Streit also represented the Isles in the All-Star Game
"It’s obviously exciting. It is in my hometown and a lot of friends and family members will be coming to watch," Streit said. "To play for Switzerland is always an honor and to represent your home country in your hometown is really exciting and I’m really thrilled to be a part of it."
Islanders Head Coach Scott Gordon will be an assistant coach for the U.S. team.