New York Islanders Roundtable: What Rookie Makes the Team?
What rookie makes the roster full time in 2016-17? By Calder Trophy rules, Ryan Pulock still counts as a rookie, right? He hasn’t played 25 NHL games. If I’m allowed to answer the question that way, then not only will Pulock me the most “sure thing” among the rookies to make the team, he is also the best bet to excel in his spot.
Of course, I don’t see his role exactly the way most Islander fans do. I keep reading the term “power play quarterback”. He won’t ever be that. He doesn’t have the skating or the vision to run an elite power play. He is best suited to that “other defenseman” role. He’s not the guy who carries it up ice, or stretches defenses with surprising passes. Pulock is a howitzer ready to fire.
But he’s a big, wide-bodied, able defender…. with a big shot. I think his best NHL comparable is… maybe… Jason Garrison? Not sexy to Isles supporters thinking “Potvin”, but very valuable.
Berube, Barzal, Ho-Sang?
The next most likely “rookie to make the team” is JF Berube. I know. It’s another cop-out answer because he spent almost the entire season on the roster. But technically, he’s a rookie. And goalies get hurt.
Now we get to what I think the question was getting at; which young forward rookie will make the team?
I think Barzal is most likely to make it out of camp. More likely that DalColle or HoSang. But I don’t think that will happen. And if it did I would predict it follows the usual pattern of Capuano losing faith (short term) in the young guy, and him losing his spot in the lineup by February or March.
I think he will go back to Seattle. Which leaves Mike and Josh. Dal Colle has the size, the better pedigree as a goal scorer, and the salt of the earth reputation the Isles covet. Ho-Sang has a vastly superior skating ability, and the advantage of playing in a position of relative scarcity. I think Ho-Sang is more likely to have earned a regular role by the end of this season.