Doyle Somerby, drafted by the Islanders in the fifth round in 2012, concluded his college career on March 25 in Boston University’s 3-2 overtime loss to Minnesota-Duluth. While former teammates Charlie McAvoy, Clayton Keller, and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson signed their pro deals and made their NHL debuts, Somerby deferred. The Marblehead native knew his market and opportunities would increase by keeping his pen off paper.
Although his draft club remains in the mix, Somerby intends to reach the Aug. 15 threshold, thereby freeing himself of his Islanders’ obligations. Five other teams could be interested, estimated agent Brett Peterson.
“It almost doesn’t make sense not to talk to everybody,” Peterson said. “You’re drafted when you’re 17½ with no say who picks you. If you choose to complete your college career, you have that right. That’s just the way the market is. They have a lot of defensive prospects in New York. So that’s how we landed at this.”
The 23-year-old Somerby is a stay-at-home defenseman. The 6-5, 225-pound left-shot Somerby set career highs as a junior with five goals and eight assists in 39 games. That year, while Somerby assumed defense-first responsibilities, McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk went on the attack. The Islanders wanted him to leave a year early, but BU’s captaincy was one of the carrots that Somerby could not ignore.
“He is who he is,” Peterson said. “His biggest attributes are that he can push the pace, take up a lot of space on the ice, be reliable, and have good leadership qualities. He’s never going to be one of those point-getting D-men. He’s more of a stay-at-home, depth defenseman. I’ve seen a lot of guys make a lot of money in that role.”