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Cizikas makes the jump to the pros

Islanders prospect Casey Cizikas during a prospect camp

Islanders prospect Casey Cizikas during a prospect camp at IceWorks in Syosset. (July 13, 2009) Credit: Kathy Kmonicek

Casey Cizikas, who signed an entry-level contract in May, is expected to make the jump from the OHL to at least Bridgeport this season. This may come as a shock, but the forward couldn't be happier about it.

"It's going to be exciting," he said. "I've been working my whole life and to finally get a chance? My number one goal is to make the Islanders, but if that doesn't work out, Bridgeport is going to be fun. Guys work their whole life to get to this spot right now and you've just gotta make the most of it."

It's no wonder the Isles are high on Cizikas. Some of his numbers with Mississauga, for your reading pleasure: 29 goals (career-high), 64 points (ditto), and a +43 rating (ditto again). He had a team-high 11 power-play goals and added 19 points in 16 OHL playoff games.

He'll be working on his defensive game, he said, and hopes that'll make the difference.

"The defensive side of the puck," he said of his self-imposed assignment. "Faceoffs, little things that could help me improve so much."

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