Next up on the Eyes on Isles top 25 under 25 is New York Islanders defensive prospect: Parker Wotherspoon.
Parker Wotherspoon is one in a long line of defensive prospects in the New York Islanders system. But what makes him better than the others already previewed in our countdown?
The New York Islanders drafted Wotherspoon in the 4th round of the 2015 NHL Draft. In his draft year, Wotherspoon put up 42 points with the Tri-City Americans of the WHL. Following that, he put up 56 points in the next season.
The Surrey, BC native is quickly outgrowing his opposition in the WHL. It’s time for him to make his ascension to the AHL. Because let’s face it, he won’t be getting any NHL time.
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The Islanders blueline is just stocked with defensive prospects. Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech, and Scott Mayfield are all competing for two spots on the Isles defensive roster. Then there’s the line of AHL ready defensive players, most of which I’ve already covered in this countdown.
What’s Wotherspoon Got?
Time. He’s 19 years-old. Defensive prospects generally take longer to cultivate into NHL ready talent. Sending Wotherspoon back down to the WHL won’t be the end of the world. He’ll have another year to dominate before making that push for an NHL/AHL roster spot.
He’s a great defensive pivot. One of those players that make a power play tick. Wotherspoon controls that offensive zone blueline moving the puck around effectively.
More importantly, Wotherspoon plays that wonderful North-South game. Moving the puck out of the defensive zone and into the attacking zone to make a play. Just look at this Tri-City Americans top 5 plays from 2014-15. Number 4 is our man Wotherspoon making one of those plays.
Wotherspoon isn’t ranked so high in our list because he’s going to be an immediate impact for the team. It’s the potential that this kid has. If his progression continues he should be pushing for an NHL spot in two years time.
Parker Wotherspoon is going to have to bide his time in the AHL for at least another season. Giving the team and fans alike the ability to see what Wotherspoon is made of. Was it just a matter of him outgrowing the WHL, or does he actually have the ability to play with men?