Report: Robbie Russo Will Not Sign With Islanders


Arthur Staple of Newsday reports that the New York Islanders will not be signing 2011 4th round pick Robbie Russo. The Notre Dame defenseman will be headed to free agency.

The 22-year-old will be graduating from Notre Dame this year and Russo will join an NHL team or their AHL affiliate. Russo has had 4 solid years in the NCAA with the Fighting Irish and experienced his best year yet during his senior season. In his final 40 games, Russo had 15 goals and 26 assists which made a career year for him. His 4 year total at Notre Dame was 28 goals and 66 assists in 142 games.

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Russo proved in Notre Dame that he is worth more than a 4th round selection. His puck moving skills are professional and developed well as his seasons in the NCAA moved along. He handles himself very well in the defensive zone by getting the puck out as soon as possible. Russo also proved to be a leader with the Irish captained the team in his final year.

Russo has had past issues with academics when his 2013-2014 season was cut in half due to a forced sabbatical. However, Russo wanted to prove to critics that he has improved himself and did so with the performance he had in the 2014-2015 season.

Robbie Russo joins Mike Reilly on the list of college players who will be looking for new teams for the 2015-2016 season.

This could lead to teams going after Russo as a constellation prize if they are unable to snag Reilly in free agency. Both play a similar style of game by moving the puck well and having a fair share of skills offensively and defensively.

Teams like the Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, Minnesota Wild, and Ottawa Senators are teams that could use a young promising D-man like Reilly and have the available funds to make a move. So if one of those teams can’t hit Reilly come free agency, Russo would make a decent runner-up. Columbus could also keep Reilly, and in that case Russo becomes a more valuable asset.

The Islanders could’ve drafted a replacement for Russo, but unfortunately they do not have a 1st round pick.