Eyes on Isles looks at another defensive prospect in our New York Islanders top 25 under 25 list. At number 15 is NCAA defenceman Devon Toews (no relation to Jonathan Toews of Chicago fame).
Devon Toews was selected in the fourth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders. Coming out of Quinnipiac University, he’s the highest pick to ever come out of the Quinnipiac hockey program.
Before deciding to make the jump to college hockey, Toews had a successful stint in the BCHL. Recording almost a point-pre-game for the Surrey Eagles in 2012-13; 47 points in 48 games.
His stay in the ECAC has been increasingly more productive year-after-year. In his first year in Quinnipiac, he put up 17 points. By year three he was up to 30 points in 40 games.
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At 22-years-old, and about to start his fourth year at Quinnipiac, Toews is at the point where he needs to take that next step. He’s just at the right place and time to do so.
Goldilocks of Prospects
Toews is that type of defensive prospect where everything is “just right”. He isn’t too much of one thing. Just the right amount of every aspect of the game.
At 6’1″ and 180lbs, he isn’t so big that mobility becomes an issue. Nor is he so small that being muscled off the puck is a real concern.
At 22 years of age, he’s a little older than most at this stage of their careers. Meaning he’s had a few more years to mature.
In 2015-16, Toews helped lead his Quinnipiac Bobcats to the Frozen Four championship game. It was only the second time the Bobcats participated in the Frozen Four. They lost the championship game to powerhouse North Dakota.
His year-after-year of production growth and age put him right in contention for a spot on the Isles AHL roster. He won’t be the only one trying to prove they deserve the spot.
Toews is going to have a dogfight to get a spot on the AHL roster. But his abilities to quarterback the powerplay, move the puck out of the defensive zone with poise and purpose should see him secure a place. Worst case scenario, he goes back to Quinnipiac to dominate in his fourth and final year.