MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -Minnesota sophomore forward Kyle Okposo is leaving college to sign with the New York Islanders, the school announced Wednesday.
Okposo, selected seventh overall in the 2006 draft, is the eighth Gophers player to forgo remaining eligibility to turn pro since the end of the 2005-06 season.
The native of St. Paul, who played at prep school Shattuck St. Mary's in Faribault, is playing with the U.S. Under-20 national team at the world junior championships in the Czech Republic. He'll join the Islanders following the tournament.
``While I'm disappointed Kyle is leaving at this point of the season, his dream has been to play pro hockey,'' Minnesota coach Don Lucia said. ``It is unfortunate that the Islanders put him in a very difficult position. I think our team has made strides the last few weeks, and I'm looking forward to the second half of the season.''
After finishing with 19 goals and 21 assists as a freshman, Okposo had a slow start to the season with an eight-game scoreless streak after a three-point game in the opener. He had seven goals and four assists in 18 games for the Gophers (9-8-1).

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Blackhawks vs. Panthers Prediction Are the Blackhawks a good bet to beat the Panthers tonight when the two clash at 7:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Stars vs. Sharks Prediction Will the Dallas Stars pull off the upset tonight as a home underdog versus the San Jose Sharks at 8:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Hosts still pushing for playoff spot   Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews snapped a seven-game goalless drought when he potted his 32nd marker of the season Saturday. Can Ontario’s darling carry that...
Thumbnail Laine, visitors aim to extend Minny's skid   A season that started so promisingly for the Wild is spinning out of control down the stretch. Can Bruce Boudreau’s troops find a way to right themselves...
Thumbnail Defending champs overcoming health issues Washington’s recent slide has provided a glimmer of hope for Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division race. But can the Pens avoid a letdown tonight against...

NHL Team Pages