Yes, New York Islander fans it’s time once again to take a look at the blue and orange’s top prospects. Let’s go for a trip down on the farm.
The New York Islanders have a number of top prospects who are not that far away from the NHL. It’s possible Isles fans could see one or two of these prospects later this year. Next season could see quite a few of these talented kids.
The Isles have five kids down in Bridgeport that fans should be keeping an eye on regarding their progress and development.
Michael Dal Colle has not been lighting up the scoresheet for the Sound Tigers so far this season. Dal Colle only has one goal and five points in 12 games so far this year. Last year Dal Colle produced 15 goals and 41 points in 75 games for Bridgeport.
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Some are calling Dal Colle a bust already. Remember a couple of things about the fifth overall pick in the 2014 draft. First, he just turned 21 this past June. Second, big forwards (6’3, 200 lbs) take a little bit longer to develop. Patience with Dal Colle could be well rewarded.
The Isles have four blueliners in Bridgeport worth watching this season in Devon Toews (AHL all-star last season), Sebastian Aho (6 Goals & 9 Points in 12 games), Parker Wotherspoon, and Mitchel Vande Sompel (2 Goals & 7 Points in 10 Games).
Unless the Islanders get besieged with injuries odds are we won’t see any of these kids this season other than for a cup of coffee. Remember the Isles are carrying eight defensemen for six spots on a nightly basis.
However, if these kids in Bridgeport continue to develop and show by season’s end they are NHL ready, you could see a couple of them at the start of next season with the big club. Remember Calvin de Haan, Thomas Hickey, and Dennis Seidenberg all are unrestricted free agents at the end of this season.
Both Keiffer Bellows and the Islanders are hoping he is on the opening night roster come next season. Bellows is making a strong case for being ready for the show with his play for the Portland Winterhawks (WHL) so far this season.
Bellows is on fire with 14 goals and 28 points in 17 games so far this year for the Winterhawks. With Josh Bailey, Jason Chimera, and Nikolai Kulemin UFA’s at season’s end, there is an opportunity for the taking for Brian Bellows‘ kid.
The Isles have two big prospects playing in Europe this season.
Write it down Linus Soderstrom, the Isles 2014, the fourth-round pick will be part of the team’s goalie tandem next season. The 21-year old Soderstrom won a championship in the Swedish league last season. He was incredible during that playoff run posting an 1.34 goals against average along with .943 save percentage.
Soderstrom has already signed his entry-level contract.
Robin Salo the Isles top pick in the 2017 draft (2nd round, 46th overall) is currently playing for Sport Vassa in the Finnish league. Salo is still ways away from the NHL but like Soderstrom, playing against men will only make him that much better when he joins the Isles.
The prospect pipeline is strong for the Isles and many of these kids will be with the big club over the next year or two.