The Islanders drafted 18-year-old, Finnish Left Winger Sean Bergenheim in the 2002 Entry Draft with the 22nd pick. He was the face of the franchise’s future for about a nano-second.
With everything else that went on in the Islanders organization, Sean was somewhat lost in the shuffle. But he was a happy, fresh-faced kid about to start his career in the NHL. And I was there to see it.
He was wearing No. 47 when he hit the ice for a preseason game in Bridgeport in October of 2003 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Legendary hockey icon Mario Lemieux played in that game.
I watched this tenacious little boy battle one of hockey’s greats. He never backed down. He never gave up. He skated as if he was in overdrive the entire time he was on the ice.
He stood out in an otherwise pointless preseason game. I knew he’d be a star. So did he.
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