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Surging rookie Lee poised to join Islanders’ top line

Mar 13, 2014, 10:50 AM EDT

EDMONTON, AB - MARCH 06: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders celebrates a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during an NHL game at Rexall Place on March 06, 2014 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Getty Images

The New York Islanders entered this season with plenty of optimism and will exit it asking what went wrong. The hope now is that their top prospects can provide them with a silver lining in the final weeks of the 2013-14 campaign.

So far at least they have that going for them. Anders Lee, 23, was called up after the Olympic break and has scored five goals and seven points in seven contests. Now, with Michael Grabner (concussion) joining John Tavares (knee) on the sidelines, it looks like Lee will be elevated to the team’s top line.

“I think Anders Lee deserves an opportunity to move up on that line,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano told Newsday.

He’ll play alongside Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen.

Unlike Okposo, John Tavares, or more recently Ryan Strome, Lee fell all the way to the sixth round in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. However, he went to Notre Dame where he established himself as one of the NCAA’s top forwards and has 41 points in 54 games in his rookie campaign with the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

  1. bcisleman - Mar 13, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    There are many silver linings to what was, granted, a disappointing season. The top one is the vastly improved play of Kyle Okposo. Another is the emergence of Calvin De Haan. Lee likely has a future as the top line LW alongside JT and Kyle.

  2. carltonthurman - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    Lee’s obviously not gonna get 70 goals in an 80 goal season, but his ability to score from down low has been impressive so far.

    Agree that de Haan has been their best defenseman for months. Wd like to see him join the rush more. Too bad he wasnt QBing the PP when Viz was out.

  3. jobro815 - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    I agree this was a lost season, but not because of mismanagement solely. Like a few years ago when Kyle and Mark Streit were lost for the season before it began, this was a season full of lost man games. Lubo out until January, Nabby out 2 months, Strait gone 6 weeks along with Lubo…. now JT and Grabs lost. Trading Moulson for Vanek didn’t pan out, but Garth did try to jolt the team out of its early season malaise.
    What irks me most is Garth being hamstrung during Free Agency… no money, so no splashes in the off-season. Instead we got Regin and Bouchard…..whoopee…. and as for Cal for Nino? Meh.. Nino is made better by linemates, not hustle or work. We had that in Regin and Bouchard..

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