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Islanders NHL Draft, Rounds 4-7: Robbie Russo, John Persson, Brenden Kichton, Mitchell Theoret

Islanders 4th-round pick Robbie Russo. Photo courtesy of <a href="">Western College Hockey Blog</a>.
Islanders 4th-round pick Robbie Russo. Photo courtesy of Western College Hockey Blog.

We've done separate posts for the Islanders' first four selections in the 2011 NHL Draft -- plus the trade of Bruno Gervais. So head to the other threads for info and discussion on: Forward Ryan Strome at #5, big defenseman project Scott Mayfield at #34, "all-around" center/wing Johan Sundstrom of Sweden, and in the third round, 6'4" Guelph (OHL) defenseman Andrey Pedan.

This post serves as our "flotsam" post collecting anything about their picks from the fourth to the seventh rounds and your immediate thoughts on the draft, which concluded with:

  • 4th Round (95th): Robbie Russo, a mid-sized all-around defenseman for the U.S. NTDP who's headed to Notre Dame.
  • 5th Round: Red Deer LW John Persson at 125, and Spokane D-man Brenden Kichton at 127.
  • 7th Round (185): Niagara C Mitchell Theoret, who has a blog on OHL life, dontcha know...

A good collection of thoughts and links on Russo is at Western College Hockey Blog, where the manager Chris is a Minnesota resident who has seen plenty of Russo, and had this to say well before the Islanders selected him:

One big factor in favor of Russo's pro chances is that in the new NHL--especially thanks to the success of teams like Detroit and Vancouver--puck possession is at a premium, and that is an area that Russo really excels at. He's unlikely to be a shutdown defender, but shouldn't be a liability in his own end. He'll be a valuable, dependable player, even if he isn't overly noticeable.

Russo is a classic case of a player that is very good at everything, but isn't quite great in any one area. A great comparison for Russo would be the last player I saddled with that label: Matt Donovan.

Brenden Kichton

From The Scouting Report:

After earning an invite to the Detroit Red Wings prospect camp, Kichton was returned to the Chiefs with a broken hand and would be forced to miss the first part of the WHL season. Kichton made an immediate impact upon his return, potting two assists as the Chiefs won only their third game of the young season. The young defender hasn’t looked back since, and has spent the majority of his season leading the “rebuilding” Chiefs on a march towards Western Hockey League supremacy.

More from them, describing Kitchton as a sleeper and a "poor man's Dan Boyle":

Kichton is an excellent skater, a great passer, and has terrific hockey sense, deftly able to join the rush and create chances. He’s also a very underrated player in his own end, with strong lateral play and good decision making. His shot could use some work, though he does seem to be able to get it through traffic more often than not. It’s definitely not a weakness.

Mitchell Theoret, C, Niagara

With their final pick in the bottom of the draft, the Islanders took a flier on Mitchell Theoret, one of those "hard worker" types. For a window into his world, check out his blog, "Life of an OHL Plug."

More will be added to this post as more picks -- and info on them -- come in. Meanwhile, our second-round open discussion thread continues here.