I apologize for the (slightly) misleading headline, but this is an odd story and the heading is technically no lie. It's also a week old, but I haven't come across it anywhere among the Isles gang (apologies if I've missed you; it was August). And it makes you go hmmm, so:
A good source for such things, Western College Hockey Blog picked up on news from The Pipeline Show that Islanders hot prospect Aaron Ness' junior rights were traded from Prince George to the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL for a goaltender and a pick conditional on Ness reporting.
Ness is of course still at U. of Minnesota. But Brandon is host of the Memorial Cup this season, so the thinking goes that maybe-just-maybe they could draw him to ... nah. But we saw how well the Garth Snow-Golden Gopher relationship was when Kyle Okposo left college mid-season, so ... nah.
WCHB says: "The good news for Minnesota fans is that Ness has never given any sort of indication that he'd be interested in leaving Minnesota."
Dean Millard at TPS says: "On the surface this seems like a long shot for the Wheat Kings, but Kelly McCrimmon is widely known as one of the smartest and shrewdest GM's in the league..."
The only way this affects the Islanders is if: a) Ness did jump and got some juniors and Memorial Cup action this year; b) that then advances the timeline for seeing him in an Orange and Blue uniform of some type.
Ness is both an immense talent and a long-term project. His oft-cited size means at some point there will be an adjustment to handling NHL-sized forwards. As an NHL fan, I selfishly want whatever nurtures that adjustment thoroughly efficiently -- while not scaring me into thinking the youngster has wanderlust.
So if this longshot were to somehow happen? I'd simply hope for the best -- and relish one more bit of provocative salt to pour in my Minnesota buddy's wounds.