Okposo returns to Minnesota, says NHL can wait

Updated: June 8, 2007, 11:42 AM ET
Associated Press

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- New York Islanders first-round draft pick Kyle Okposo decided Friday to remain at Minnesota for his sophomore season.

Okposo, a 19-year-old forward from St. Paul, Minn., was selected seventh overall in the 2006 draft.

"I feel returning to school best serves my future as an NHL player at this time," Okposo said. "I want to be able to step right in and help the Islanders in the future. I didn't feel that I can do that right now.

"Minnesota is the best place for me to be so I can continue my development."

Okposo finished second in scoring during his freshman year at Minnesota with 19 goals and 21 assists for 40 points. He played for the U.S. team that won the bronze medal at the world junior championship in Sweden.

The Islanders are supportive of his decision to stay in college.

"Kyle has a very bright future and another year at the collegiate level will give him the opportunity to continue his development into the player we all imagine he can be one day," Islanders GM Garth Snow said. "We're looking forward to watching Kyle be a leader at Minnesota this season."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press