Believe it or not, the New York Islanders 2017 training camp is about to begin. Hard to fathom it’s almost the start of the new hockey season. In this crucial year for the Isles, they need contributions from the kids to have a successful season.
Let’s be clear the New York Islanders are not asking any of their talented youngsters to be stars this year. That would be phenomenal, of course. But the blue and orange just need each of them to contribute to this year’s team.
The 20-year old Beauvillier can play either wing or center. An improvement in offense would be a good goal for the Beauvillier. He posted 24 points (9 goals) in 66 games last year. Beauvillier needs to continue to play that solid two-way game while adding offense.
New York Islanders
Ho-Sang is an electric looking winger. He posted 10 points in 21 games last season. He needs to work on the defensive side of the game. A 40-point season is a possibility for Ho-Sang this season. Playing a two-way game has to be a big focus for Ho-Sang.
Mathew Barzal is a little bit more of a question mark in terms of the start of the NHL regular season. Will he be with the Islanders or with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers?
But looking at the upcoming season in terms of the big picture for Barzal, he should provide the Isles with solid offensive production as well as being a weapon on the power play.
The Isles need the trio of Beauvillier, Ho-Sang, and Barzal to contribute secondary scoring, solid two-way play, and maybe even help on special teams as well.
The Blue Line
Pulock, the 15th overall pick of the 2013 draft will bring a lot of excitement to the Isles. His booming slap shot (clocked at 105 mph) will add quite a bit of offense, especially on the power play. Remember the Isles finished 28th in the league rankings on the power play last season.
Pulock should score at least 10 goals this season, and leave many juicy rebounds for the forwards. That combo should add a significant amount of goals for the Isles this season. Pairing him with a vet blue liner such as Dennis Seidenberg seems like a wise choice, to help Pulock round out his game.
Pelech should be a steady Eddie defenseman. He will do all the little things well and play solid defense, Place him with Thomas Hickey and the Isles could have one of the best third defensive pairings in the league.
During the course of an 82-game season, injuries will occur. Just like every other contending team, the Isles will need some of the kids down below to contribute as well.
Scott Mayfield filled that role very well last year playing in 25 games. Top blue line prospect Devon Toews could be NHL ready soon, as well. If Doug Weight needs defensive help due to a number of injuries both Mayfield and Toews will be ready and give valuable minutes for the big club.
Don’t forget about former 5th overall pick Michael Dal Colle. He could help at left wing if the injury bug bites the Isles. However, in Dal Colle’s case, he probably won’t be NHL ready until early 2018.
The Isles depth should help these kids realize they don’t have to be a savior to the franchise, they just have to contribute. If they can accomplish that the Isles will most likely have a very successful season.