Islanders Sign D Branislav Mezei

By Bill Bennett

The Slovakian-born defenseman played the last two seasons with the Belleville Bulls of the OHL.

This past season, he was named to the OHL All-Star Team, First Team, in a postseason vote by league coaches after going 7-21-28, a +35 with 99 penalty minutes in 58 regular season games.

He was the first runner-up in the voting for the Max Kaminsky Trophy, awarded yearly to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Defenseman.

Mezei was one of the final cuts during last year’s training camp.

Mezei is considered a very heady and mobile defenseman. At 6’4, 230 pounds, the Slovak also has the size to match his skills and smarts.

With another year of junior hockey under his belt, he’s sure to make a run at a spot on the Islanders’ blueline.

Mezei, who will turn 20 on Oct. 8, has been enjoying himself on Long Island all week working out with several of his teammates.