ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Islanders took four defensemen during the second day of this weekend's NHL draft, and parted ways with one who has spent five-plus seasons with them.
Gervais, a sixth-round draft pick by the Islanders in 2003, will join former teammates Dwayne Roloson, Sean Bergenheim and Nate Thompson with the Lightning. The three former Islanders have found success on a team that went to the Eastern Conference finals under first-year coach Guy Boucher.
"We're going to give Bruno an opportunity to get a head start with a new team," general manager Garth Snow said. "Bruno has been a solid citizen for us, a good teammate and a great spokesman for the New York Islanders. He was one of the most popular players in that locker room . . . We wish him the best."
"One thing's for sure, if at worst he's a seventh defenseman, we've got a very good defenseman," Boucher said. "He could be a fifth or a sixth; I don't want to peg him with a number."
Gervais was limited to six assists in 53 games, in part because facial and foot injuries sidelined him for stretches last season.
"He's just a guy that had injuries, so his last years were tougher. But he's had very good years before," Boucher said. "So we're confident we can help him be the player he was before he was injured."
On his Twitter account, Gervais thanked the Islanders fans for their support.
"Thank you NYI and NYI fans for all the great memories. I had a blast with you all and wish you guys all the best," he wrote.
The departure of Gervais was juxtaposed with an influx of new defensive prospects. Of the Islanders' seven picks Saturday, four were defensemen.
Scott Mayfield, a big, bruising blueliner, was taken in the second round.
A prospect who some believed might have gone in the first round, Mayfield finished with seven goals and nine assists in 52 games for Youngstown of the USHL.
The three other defensemen taken were Andrei Pedan (Guelph, OHL) in the third round, Robbie Russo (USA U-18, USHL) in the fourth and Brenden Kichton (Spokane, WHL) in the fifth.
Three forwards drafted were Swedish center Johan Sundstrom (Frolunda, SEL) in the second round, winger John Persson (Red Deer, WHL) and center Mitchell Theoret (Niagara, OHL) in the seventh.
Notes & quotes: Trent Klatt, in charge of player development, acted as chief scout for draft in the absence of former assistant general manager and director of amateur scouting Ryan Jankowski, who was dismissed in September.