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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.

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