TORONTO -- Anders Lee, one of the highly regarded prospects the Islanders have drafted the last few years, told general manager Garth Snow over the weekend that Lee will be staying at Notre Dame for his junior year.
The 21-year-old Lee, the Isles' sixth-round pick in 2009, had 17 goals and 17 assists for the Irish this past season. Notre Dame had been ranked in the top five among all college hockey teams early in the year, but failed to receive an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament.
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After his season officially ended, Lee told the Islanders of his decision. He stood out at the team's rookie camp last July, following a freshman year in which Lee helped the Irish to the Frozen Four. A source indicated that Lee wants to be a year closer to earning his degree before he decides to turn pro.
The Islanders would be in danger of losing Lee's rights if they fail to sign him by June of 2013, but that loophole in the current NHL collective bargaining agreement is expected to be closed when the next CBA is negotiated this summer.
Jay Pandolfo, a healthy scratch for the second straight game, was nominated by the local chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association as the Islanders nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy. The award honors perseverance and dedication to the game.
Pandolfo played only 12 AHL games in 2010-11 as he tried to recover from a shoulder injury that contributed to the end of his 13-year career with the Devils following the 2009-10 season. He made the Islanders on a tryout in training camp and has played 54 games.
" I appreciate the opportunity Garth gave me to come here and try to make the team," Pandolfo said.