Kevin SchultzToday was the signing deadline for 2011 draft picks Brenden Kichton (5th round) and Mitchell Theoret (7th). If unsigned, they would be free to re-enter this year’s draft. According to Arthur Staple, the Islanders did not make an offer to either player.
Theoret, a seventh rounder, was always a long shot and did not put up much in terms of numbers until this season, his fourth in the OHL. With the Islanders forward pool being very deep, it’s not a surprise that they passed on Theoret.
For Kichton, he’s had impressive numbers in the WHL and was captain of Spokane. His numbers plateaued and with a full draft of defenders behind him in 2012, plus the signings of Scott Mayfield and Andrey Pedan, the Islanders like see him as expendable. Maybe there were some ruffled feathers there on one side or the other, but we’ll never know.
It might have been nice to see Kichton in Bridgeport this year, and I’d bet he’ll eventually get a shot somewhere else, but there’s no reason to get extremely worked up over the situation. The Islanders will have a lot more decisions to make with a lot more defenders — higher drafted defenders — over the next year or two. This is the first decision of many.