Brenden Kichton was passed over in his first NHL draft, so being underestimated and overlooked is nothing new for the young defenseman. But he's continued to put up points from the blueline -- breaking the franchise record even -- in a growing role for Spokane of the WHL.
The Islanders did not sign him last summer, though he was clearly hoping for a contract as the league steamed toward a lockout.
Now two years after his draft and seeing several other defensemen in the Islanders system, word from Newsday this spring was that Kichton had declined a contract offer from the Isles and would be hoping for a better situation elsewhere.
Word from Kichton himself via the Spokesman in March was cagey, saying the player's camp was in a "waiting stage" with the Islanders.
Unless there is a last-minute change of heart and he is signed by June 1, Kichton is as good as gone.
But a defenseman who put up 85 points in 71 games this season will not disappear so easily from our radar. He averaged out at 25 on our Spring 2013 Top 25 Islanders Under 25 list.
And if any of us thought he would be in an Islanders uniform, no doubt he'd have rated even higher.
Notes from the panel:
Keith Quinn: Note that I think the Isles won't sign him. In which case, Theoret becomes my 25.
David Hanssen: Put up monster numbers as an overage player in the WHL. Could become a useful piece but probably relegated to the Justin Mapletoft/Justin DiBenedetto bin of "Put up huge numbers in the juniors but can't translate it to the pros."
We'll see. Kichton will get an NHL contract from someone.