Isles claim former Kings first-rounder Hickey off waivers

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In 2007, the Kings made Thomas Hickey the fourth overall selection — behind Patrick Kane, James van Riemsdyk and Kyle Turris — at the NHL Entry Draft.

Today, Hickey’s time with Los Angeles came to an end as the New York Islanders announced they claimed the 23-year-old rearguard off waivers.

The captain of Canada’s gold medal-winning Junior team from 2009, Hickey has yet to make good on the promise that made him the first defenseman drafted in ’07 (ahead of Karl Alzner, Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Shattenkirk.)

He’s also yet to make his NHL debut, having spent the last four-plus seasons playing for AHL Manchester.

Injuries (ankle, shoulder) and a deep Kings blueline have played their part in Hickey not making the NHL jump. He, along with 2008 first-rounder Colten Teubert, always seemed to be stuck on a low rung of the organizational ladder (Teubert was flipped to Edmonton in the Dustin Penner trade of 2011.)

That said, Hickey should have a slightly better shot of making the Isles roster. They’re still without the services of Lubomir Visnovsky, leaving them with a crew of Mark Streit, Matt Carkner, Travis Hamonic, Matt Donovan, Ty Wishart, Radek Martinek and Andrew MacDonald on the blueline.