New York Islanders Next Wave of Rookies Coming Up

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Michael Dal Colle #71 of the New York Islanders waits for a second period faceoff against the New Jersey Devils at the Barclays Center on September 23, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Michael Dal Colle #71 of the New York Islanders waits for a second period faceoff against the New Jersey Devils at the Barclays Center on September 23, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The New York Islanders announced their 23-man active roster for the 2017-18 NHL season. And amongst the names are three rookies moving up from their AHL affiliate. Who’s next up on deck in the system?

This season the New York Islanders have 14 out of 23 players on their active roster that they themselves drafted. We as Islanders fans aren’t used to that. For years our youth players and draft picks have been underused or underappreciated.

Now they run the team. With good drafting, the New York Islanders have a team that is well stocked with young exciting talent. It’s one of a few bright spots on Garth Snow‘s Islanders resumé.

But while all these players coming up now is great for today, what about tomorrow? What players do the Islanders have in the system that can stock the main roster in the next few seasons?

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Forward

Michael Dal Colle

Don’t write him off just yet. I know co-Expert Matt O’Leary is #done with Michael Dal Colle. But the power forward still had a good season in Bridgeport last year. With his 41points on the year, he finished fifth in scoring on the team.

Yes, he was drafted fifth overall in 2014. So yes. He should be in the NHL right now. And yes, being leapfrogged by players like Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier, and Josh Ho-Sang, all drafted between 2014 and 2015, isn’t great.

But he’ll be in the conversation to be given a shot at the NHL level this season should injuries occur to anyone in the Isles top six.

New York Islanders

Keiffer Bellows

His plan is to be in the NHL as of next season. It’s a lofty goal, but one that we all hope he fulfills. He had previously pledged to play for Boston University in the NCAA, but a few months before the season started he changed course and jumped to the WHL instead.

The length of the season in juniors is reason numbers one through ten for why Bellows made the move. What with 50 more games being played in the WHL than in the NCAA’s Hockey East division.

Defense

Devon Toews

The AHL’s reigning All-Star Game’s fastest skater and 46 point player, Devon Toews is next in line for a spot on the New York Islanders blue line. He almost made it this year. Beaten out by Ryan Pulock, who in all honesty deserved a call-up regardless of his suboptimal training camp.

He earned that re-call in training camp. That’s how close this kid is to the New York Islanders roster. By this time next season, I fully expect him to be on the team.

Mitchell Vande Sompel

Vande Sompel, much like Devon Toews, had a fantastic training camp. He’s made the jump from the OHL last season to the AHL this season. In junior Vande Sompel was absolutely dynamite, with 174 points in 218 games.

He’s small, at only 5’10” but he can move. He’s not going anywhere near the New York Islanders roster this season, but next year he might just be close.

Sebastian Aho

The Swedish defender Aho is going to be making his North American debut this season. After an impressive season over in Sweden playing in the SHL, the Islanders signed the fifth round pick to a three-year ELC.

He’s coming off a 50 game 30 point season where he lead his team in scoring from the blue line. That was good for 29th in scoring int he entire SHL and third amongst defensemen. There’s something there with Aho. And we’ll sound find out what.

Next: Top Isles Storylines for 2017-18

Goaltending

Linus Soderstrom

The New York Islanders selected Soderstrom in the fourth round of 2014. Both he and Ilya Sorokin were drafted in the same year, but it looks like the Russian is going to stay in his homeland.

No matter. Soderstrom only broke an SHL record previously held by none other than Henrik Lundqvist. Last season, Soderstrom put up a 1.34 GAA in 22 games played. He should be a great understudy next season. For now, he’s playing out his season in the SHL. But next season he might just be on the team.

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