New York Islanders Top 25 Under 25: Vande Sompel #17
The New York Islanders are so deep in defensive prospects were practically tripping over them. At number 17 is Mitchell Vande Sompel, yet another talented defensive prospect in the Islanders system.
We’ve hit our fifth New York Islanders defensive prospect. And we’re only at number 17 out of 25. That’s five out of a possible eight (for those keeping track at home).The defensive depth in the organization is incredible.
Mitchell Vande Sompel was drafted by the Islanders in the 3rd round of the 2015 NHL entry draft. A draft that saw the Isles step up to the podium seven times drafting a defenseman on five occasions.
The only two deviations? Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier. Two young forwards that we’ll get to later on in our countdown.
Vande Sompel is 19-years-old and loaded with talent. He’s small by NHL standards, standing at just 5’10”. But ask Martin St-Louis how size factors in an NHL career. It doesn’t, so long as you’ve got the talent.
Vande Sompel’s Assets
Vande Sompel is a mobile offensive defenseman. I say mobile because the kid can skate. It’s not that just that he’s fast, it’s that he’s nimble and efficient skater. Remember that skating was one of the big knocks against Matthew Finn. That’s not the case with Sompel.
Add to that his NHL caliber shot. His ability to make a play and to pinch in the offensive zone. Then add his strength on the powerplay and you’re starting to get a pretty well-rounded defender.
Next: Top 25 Under 25: #18 Matthew Finn
Until you get to Sompel’s one flaw; his defensive game. It’s not that he’s no good at his role. It’s that he sometimes shirks his defensive duties to join the offense. He takes untimely, or undisciplined penalties.
He’s what some would call a “high-risk, high-reward” type of player. A term NHL fans have seen used before when referring to the likes of one PK Subban.