ON THE HORIZON – Corey Trivino, F, Boston Univ.

As the Islanders attempt to earn their first postseason berth since 2007, they could easily look back to the 2008 NHL entry draft in Ottawa as a breeding ground for present-day and future success.

Thirteen selections were made that weekend. Forwards Josh Bailey and Matt Martin, along with defenseman Travis Hamonic have already graduated to the NHL from that draft class. Forwards David Ullstrom and Justin DiBenedetto, defensemen Aaron Ness and Matt Donovan, along with future starting goaltender Kevin Poulin all are playing in Bridgeport for the Islanders’ top AHL affiliate, with an eye on reaching Long Island by season’s end.

Forward Kirill Petrov also was selected, and continues to be the pick that teases Islander fans, yet still remains in the KHL in Russia.

Selected 36th overall, the first of the Islanders’ three second-round picks, center Corey Trivino was chosen for his offensive skill-set. He exploded onto the world scene, playing for Canada’s Under-18 team, by collecting seven points – four goals and three assists – including notching a hat trick in a victory over Denmark.

However, injuries could play a cruel trick on a professional prospect, as it has on the 21-year old Toronto native and Boston University senior.

“In my first three years (here at Boston University), I have been overcoming obstacles,” said Trivino. “I tore my MCL after my freshman season and broke my ankle at the end of my sophomore season.”

Yet, Trivino has never felt self pity. He has turned his own adversity by prospering in head coach Jack Parker’s system as one of Hockey East’s top all-around centers.

“At the end of his sophomore season, Corey was really coming into his own and was one of our best forwards,” said Parker, who is entering his 39th season as head coach of the Terriers. “And despite his injuries, he has made himself one of our best all-around players.”

Trivino had scored 56 points – 18 goals and 38 goals – in his first three collegiate seasons. Still, it was his development on the defensive end, in which Parker points out as his greatest asset moving onward.

“Corey came into our system with a big reputation as an offensive guy,” said the three-time NCAA champion Parker. “But he has become much more reliable defensively. He’s a great face-off guy and is very responsible in his own end. And now that he is a senior, he is being given much more responsibility, and is being very productive.”

Trivino netted his sixth goal of the season in Sunday afternoon’s 5-0 blanking at second-ranked Boston College. He is now tied with Minnesota Wild prospect Charlie Coyle for second on the team with 10 points, two behind San Jose Shark prospect Matt Nieto.

“As a player, I know that in order to play on the next level I need to play on both sides of the ice,” said Trivino. “I believe that I have become a two-way player who plays strong defensively against the opposing top line.”

Furthermore, Parker also credits Trivino’s development to the Terriers’ strength and conditioning coach Mike Boyle.

“Mike (Boyle) has made Corey a bigger and faster player,” said Parker of Trivino, who has gained upwards of 20-to-25 pounds since entering Boston University as a 6-foot-1, 170-pound 17-year old. “He sees the ice better, and is much more conditioned than when he started.”

Trivino himself goes back to a meeting with former Boston University co-captain John McCarthy, while a freshman, as one that kept his mission much more focused.

“John always told me and the rest of the team that it was important to work hard every day, whether it is at practice or during the game,” said Trivino, who played as a third-line center for 2008-09 National Champions.

Over the last three seasons, Trivino has showcased his talents on Long Island, scrimmaging against some of the Islanders’ top prospects.

“I see a lot of talent coming through the Islander organization,” said Trivino, a self-admitted Toronto Maple Leaf fan. “And over the last couple of seasons, I have had a chance to talk to a couple of the (Islanders) fans. I even have had a chance to invite some of them up to see a couple of B.U. games. They have told me how much they want me to success.

“Their fan base has been very supportive.”

Islander management will have until next summer to decide whether Trivino’s development is worthy of an entry-level contract.

Parker believes the choice is a no-brainer.

“I know some of the guys in the organization,” said Parker, who also coached current Islander net-minder Rick Dipietro for one season before the team selected him first overall in 2000. “They were ready to sign him after his freshman and sophomore seasons. Corey Trivino will be a viable prospect and a valuable member of the Islander organization soon.”

Only time will tell.

On the Horizon is a regular feature from Alan Avital that focuses on the best Islanders not yet with the big club. Comments on Corey Trivino and other prospects are welcomed in this thread. Talk about the big club continues in other posts.