USA Hockey Magazine

October 2014

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USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM 2014-15 NHL PREVIEW season with a fresh cast. With a healthy Tavares back at the fore- front, the Islanders added veteran forwards Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin and have rising talent up front such as Anders Lee, Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson, who could be the left wing on the top line with Okposo and Tavares. "We're in a good place as a team, and I know we got better this summer,'' Okposo says. "Everyone on our club wants to succeed, and a lot of that is because we've grown up playing together." Okposo is banking that his best is yet to come. "For me, it's about really pushing myself and focusing on what it takes to be successful in the NHL," he says. "I've made conscious changes because I want to be the best player I can be." Kome Okposo, whose path of hard work and dedication set the right example for Kyle and his sister Kendra, admits he's grateful that his career approach proved fruitful for the next generation. "I always thought if I succeeded, there would be a much bet- ter chance for them to succeed," he says. "And thinking about that game against Chicago when Kyle scored in overtime and the Islander fans were chanting 'USA, USA,' that still gives me chills. For me, that was the greatest moment. It made me so proud." N Allan Kreda covers the N.Y. Islanders for The New York Times. BERTELLI'S SKATE SHOP • FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED SINCE 1969 • FULL SERVICE HOCKEY AND LACROSSE SHOP, TWO FLOORS OF STICKS AND EQUIPMENT • 726 MAIN STREET, WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA,01089 CALL FOR OUR UNADVERTISED SPECIALS | 413-736-0633 SHOP WHERE THE PRO'S SHOP Bauer Nexus SR Stick and INT. $179.99 BAUER Totalone NXG Vintage (Winter Classic) SR and INT $199.99 ( Limited Quantities) FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ONLINE ORDERS! 19

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