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March 30, 2014

Justin Mapletoft

It wasn't so long ago that Justin Mapletoft was a real promising prospect with the New York Islanders.

The Isles took a chance on the Lloydminster, Saskatchewan native in the 5th round of the 1999 draft. He had grown up in the Calgary area, excelling with a teammate by the name of Dany Heatley. The two were a force together in bantam and midget hockey.

Mapletoft filled out nicely, growing to 6'1" and 200lbs, and became a star with the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL. In fact by his final year of junior he was named as the Western League's Most Valuable Player.

From there he jumped to the American Hockey League. He never put up outstanding numbers in four years in the "A," but developed a reputation as a reliable, hard-working pivot. He was a crafty puckhandler and reliable defensively, but he lacked the first step quickness to become an offensive star.

The Islanders gave him two long looks totalling 38 games over two seasons. But he was never given a serious chance as his ice time was very limited.

By 2005 Mapletoft headed to Europe where he extended his career nicely by playing in Sweden, Finland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

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