Editorials

New York Islanders: Top 5 NHL Ready Prospects

By Matthew Collins
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Mathew Barzal poses with team executives after being selected as the number sixteen overall pick to the New York Islanders in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Mathew Barzal poses with team executives after being selected as the number sixteen overall pick to the New York Islanders in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 5, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals center Michael Latta (46) fights New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (42) in the first period at Verizon Center. The Islanders won 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 5, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals center Michael Latta (46) fights New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (42) in the first period at Verizon Center. The Islanders won 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

. Defenseman. Scott Mayfield. 5. 106.

Great Scott! Get it. Great Scott. His name is Scott. And he’s big.

Forget it.

Scott Mayfield was selected early in the second round of the 2011 Draft, and since has progressed at a steady pace. Mayfield provides very little promise in the offensive category, but that’s not why Garth Snow drafted him in the first place.

To say that Mayfield is a huge commodity is an understatement.

With 6’4″ and 224 lbs at his disposal, he would provide the Islanders with size and grit. He is primarily a shut-down, hitting machine in the back end, and would bring plenty of defensive prowess during penalty kills and even strength play. Plus he can fight too.

The Islanders defensive core is predominantly two-way defensemen and offensive defensemen, so adding some fresh size that focuses entirely on protecting the net is always a nice addition.

But can Mayfield really establish himself as a starter?

First off, there are two competent defenders (Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech) ahead of him on the depth chart. But also, is it possible for a pure defender to play in this modern age of the league?

Today, finding a pure defensive defenseman on an NHL roster is a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack. Sure there are some, but not many.

Just like the enforcer, pure defenders are being phased out in favor of hybrids who can score a bit more, carry the puck better, and bring solid performances to both ends of the ice.

And this is exactly why the Islanders may not use Mayfield as regular. He has the experience in both the pros and minors, he has the size and grit, but his offensive production and puck handling abilities may not be sufficient to keep with the pace of the pros.

Look for him to ride the bench at most if he makes The Show.

But never say never. Right?

Next: Honorable Mentions

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