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You know I barely paid any attention to my phone today and I missed out on the start of action, albeit a small one. The Islanders have traded forward Ben Walter and a contional pick in 2012 to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for the rights of 2006 6th round pick Tony Romano.

Just got a confusing press release from the Isles that says WE got the conditional pick:

The New York Islanders have acquired Tony Romano and a conditional pick in the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for center Ben Walter. 

Romano played the last two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League.  The Smithtown, NY native was the leading scorer for the Peterborough Petes last season, scoring 36 goals and 33 assists for 69 points in 65 games.  The year prior, Romano skated in 66 games for the London Knights and registered 22 points (12 goals and 10 assists).  Romano was drafted in the sixth round (178th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and played that same year for Cornell University where he totaled nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points in 29 games. 

Walter spent the last two seasons with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers where he accumulated 116 points.  He played in a total of 12 games for the Islanders during his two seasons with the organization scoring one goal. 

Per NHL.com:

The New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders swung a small trade Tuesday. The Devils sent Tony Romano to the Islanders in exchange for Ben Walter and a conditional draft pick in 2012.

Walter, a former fifth-round pick of the Boston Bruins, has 22 games of NHL experience spread over four seasons, including two with the Bruins and the last two with the Islanders.

He played in four games last season while also wracking up 50 points in 65 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League. Walter has averaged 20 goals and nearly 56 points per season in the AHL since turning pro in 2005 after spending three seasons at UMass-Lowell.

Romano, 21, the Devils’ sixth round pick in 2006, has spent the last two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, first with the London Knights and then with the Peterborough Petes. He had 69 points in 65 games last season with Peterborough.

Ok so Romano is a 21 year old prospect (and Smithtown, NY native) who has not played at all in the NHL just yet, not really any different then Walter and his cup-o-coffee. Romano is listed at 5’7″ and 170lbs but his offensive numbers seem to indicate he uses his lack of size well enough to get to scoring areas. I am unsure if he played with Tavares at all, but it just seems they seem to be targeting players from the same systems and organizations – for whatever that is worth. You can read more about Romano on Hockey’s Future.

Like I said, this isn’t exactly the same as the Rangers shipping Scott Gomez off to Montreal for Chris Higgins, but it’s a start. Only two more days till the free agent frenzy begins.