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The New York Islanders’ brass have been quick to tell anyone who will listen that blue-chip prospect Kyle Okposo should not be compared to Jarome Iginla. “It’s far too early”, they say.
You know what that tells me, as a keeper-league owner? I should be comparing his upside to Jarome Iginla. Thank you for the measuring stick, Mr. Nolan and Mr. Snow.
So far, the similarities are promising. They both have last names that start and end with a vowel. In Iginla’s first two games for Calgary he had two points (it was in the postseason) and in Okposo’s first two contests he also notched two points. Both players sport nice tans. Both players are in that 6’0 to 6’1 range and when Iggy started his career he was below the 200-pound mark as well. Iginla was drafted 11th overall in 1995, Okposo was drafted seventh overall in 2006. Eleven rhymes with seven.
Okay, some of those things are irrelevant, but I’m feeling a little giddy and I’m thinking that so are Okposo’s owners. So let’s take a look at Iginla’s career to date. That way, we can roughly map out what to expect from the youngster whom we are not supposed to compare him to.
In his first three seasons, Iginla posted between 32 and 51 points. I think that’s more than a fair expectation of Okposo. Iginla followed that up with a small sign of an upcoming breakout, notching 63 points and then he broke out in a big way with 96 points in Year 6. I think Okposo will have his breakout in Year 4, but that’s just a hunch – and it won’t be as big as Iginla’s. That means if you own Okposo, he may make the very bottom of your pro team for the next three years, or he may be at the top of your reserve list. After that, a star could arrive.
Iginla, by the time this season is over, will have cleared the 90-point mark three times. I think Okposo’s upside is in the mid- to high-80s. In the meantime roto-league owners, pick him up for the stretch run. He should get your five or six points for the wing position.