With their final pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, the New York Islanders have selected Kyle Burroughs at 196th overall.
Burroughs is yet another defenseman from the WHL, where he just finished his second full season with the Regina Pats. As a final-round pick, is he an afterthought or a late-bloomer?
Opinions varied on Burroughs, in part because he is undersized at about 5'11", but also because he didn't really get the chance to show his full potential until injuries hit the Regina blueline.
Once he had his opportunity, he produced points and excelled on the power play and ended up being their top-scoring defenseman.
Scout Kirk Luedeke had him rated as high a third-round pick.
As a seventh-rounder Burroughs is certainly a longshot, but he drew enough attention for Red Line Report to rate him as a "sleeper" gem in its final draft preview:
Burroughs is a smallish 5-11, 182-pounder who seemed to fly under the radar on a mediocre club. He emerged only after injuries to several veterans on the blue line, and he came in and took over the power play with aplomb, eventually being made an assistant captain after starting the season buried on the depth chart. His smart pinches and puck distribution stamp him as a savvy and poised player. There will be persistent doubters because of his size, but he still plays a physical game and competes hard in the battle areas. Very much an under-appreciated hidden gem.
Similarly, here is how the locals saw him rising late in the days before the draft:
"He got off to a rough start," admitted head coach Malcolm Cameron.
"I don’t know if it was the pressure he put on himself because of the year he had as a 16-year-old.
"(But) by Christmas time, he came back and completely changed his game and became a real, real solid player for us."
Burroughs was used in all facets of the game and was playing about 30 minutes per night, huge minutes no matter the level.
And he stepped up at the perfect time as the Pats defensive corps were ravaged by injuries.
Among Islanders draft picks, Burroughs joins a recent line of seventh rounders like Cody Rosen, Mitchell Theoret and Jake Bischoff. However, if he wants inspiration that things can work out even for the latest of picks, he can look to Matt Moulson as a success story.
That does it for our pick-by-pick roundups today. Check the stream on the right or the links above to further draft coverage, including the Islanders' trade of Nino Niederreiter to the Minnesota Wild.
And of course, we'll have more later and throughout the week as we digest this new crop of (mostly) teenage prospects and prepare for free agency.