Boston University defenseman Doyle Somerby was a 2012 draft pick of the Islanders, one of the “Weekend of 1,000 Defensemen” that also yielded Griffin Reinhart and Adam Pelech among others. But four years later and without an agreed-to entry level contract, Somerby is looking test the free agency waters, according to the Boston Globe.
In his Sunday column (way down on the page), writer Fluto Shinzawa talked with Somerby's agent who said his client just wanted to explore his options on August 15th, when his draft rights expire.
“It almost doesn’t make sense not to talk to everybody,” [agent Brett] Peterson said. “You’re drafted when you’re 17½ with no say who picks you. If you choose to complete your college career, you have that right. That’s just the way the market is. They have a lot of defensive prospects in New York. So that’s how we landed at this.”
The report also indicates that Islanders remain one of the teams “in the mix” for Somerby’s services.
The big club already has eight blueliners who would all require waivers to be sent to Bridgeport. The Sound Tigers have their own issues with a couple of signees and at least one of this year’s draftees eligible to play, giving them at least six, too. Sure, maybe a spot opens somehow. Or it could be the ECHL for Somerby. Or he could try his luck elsewhere.
Somerby is a defensive type that scored a career-high five goals last season. BU lost to Minnesota-Duluth in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. We had him ranked No. 18 in last year’s Top 25 Under 25 series, and SB Nation College Hockey had him ranked 68th out of all NCAA prospects.
Shinzawa also reports that the Islanders wanted to Somerby to leave college after his junior year, but he returned to act as the team’s captain this season.
I’m finding it hard to muster any emotions about this, unlike the last time the Islanders faced potentially losing a player via the NCAA “loophole.” If you're new here, you might have missed the drama from four years ago, when we fretted that Anders Lee would bolt for greener, better pastures before signing his ELC. Spoiler alert: He signed.
And, no, this isn't just an Islanders thing. Justin Schultz ditched the Ducks to spend three seasons getting booed by Oilers fans before becoming a champion with the Penguins. Just last season, Jimmy Vesey balked at offers by both the Predators and Sabres (and, uh, the Islanders? I don’t know) before signing with the Rangers. This year’s big fish will be Hobey Baker winner Will Butcher, who would rather not play with the Avalanche thank you very much Mr. Sakic. I’m sure there are others that I’m forgetting now.
Maybe Somerby signs, maybe not. Maybe he’s already been replaced by Pelech (for the next few years) or Scott Mayfield (who’s kinda good, right?) or someone else. We’ll have to wait until next week or next year to find out.