New York Islanders Roundtable: What Rookie Makes the Team?
The focus on the New York Islanders youth is squarely planted on Mathew Barzal. The 19-year-old is talented and has dominated his junior league with 88 points in 58 games. But he’s only 19.
This season is going to be a big developmental year for Barzal. He’ll make the move up from the WHL to the AHL. The Isles are going to let him grow into that centerman role. They don’t want to rush him in and have to play him out of position like they did with Ryan Strome.
I also want to state that Ryan Pulock is a lock for the team. With Marek Zidlicky not being resigned there’s a gap on the third defensive pairing. This roundtable isn’t about roster locks, it’s about surprises.
The Ho-Sang Risk
That’s why I feel Joshua Ho-Sang is going to make the roster.
It’s a risky choice. To go from one year where he’s rocketed out from training camp for missing the first day to making the team the very next year?
But Ho-Sang is the most gifted player in this current crop of youngsters. At the moment the attitude problems that were attributed to him and then confirmed with his dismissal from camp seem to have gone.
The Islanders are set at center: John Tavares, Ryan Strome, Nelson, and Cizikas. That’s how I see the team being constructed down the middle. Moving Nelson from the wing to the middle opens a spot for Ho-Sang to come in.
Joshua Ho-Sang gives everything the Islanders need this season and going forward. Creativity, skill, and desire. Ho-Sang has to make the team if he’s to make good on his promise to be the best player in his draft year after three years. Not that the Isles particularly care about making sure Ho-Sang makes good on a brash promise.
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This is Ho-Sang’s time to show the Islanders and the rest of the league that he was right. And I beleive he’ll make good on that/