The New York Islanders have come into question by the fan base regarding starting the season with more of a veteran lineup. Fans of the blue and orange should have faith in Lou and Trotz as they are making the right calls with the kids.
New York Islanders top brass of Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have to be very happy with what they saw from many of their youngsters in training camp. What’s important to keep in mind most of these youngsters do have roster flexibility in regards to playing for the Isles this season.
Players Sent Down
Yours truly is here to tell you these were the right moves. There is no doubt Bellows, Dobson, and Toews (his status still to be determined) in particular impressed during training camp. Having said that it would be wise for the Islanders decision makers to look at what is best for these youngsters long-term.
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Furthermore, all the Islander youngsters sent down to Bridgeport are just a phone call away from being called up to the show. If the Isles veteran players are not cutting it and the youngsters in Bridgeport show they are ready, they will be up with the big club much sooner than later.
In regards to Dobson, let’s remember he doesn’t turn 19 until January. The 12th overall pick of the 2018 Draft has shown he is not that far away from being NHL ready. Rushing him to the NHL is not in the Isles best interest for either the short or long term.
Lou and Trotz need to see with their own eyes the complete games of several Islanders, as well as their intangibles. No doubt this starts with Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, and Brock Nelson. All three are unrestricted free agents at season’s end.
There are several other key questions that the new regime needs answering as well. Can Nick Leddy become a complete defenseman? What do the Isles have in Adam Pelech and Scott Mayfield? Lou and Trotz need to know who will be a part of the Islanders future core moving forward?
The only way these important questions get answered, as well as others, is for Lou and Trotz to see with their own eyes in regular season action.
The other side of this coin is when Bellows and the other youngsters make the Islander roster they need to get playing time and in meaningful situations. These kids are better off playing close to 20 minutes a night down below versus playing 10 or so minutes a night with the big club.
No question that Bellows, Toews, and Dobson, in particular, will be a big part of the Islanders future plans. Rushing that process is not a smart path for the organization or for their young players.
Again, just because the youngsters start the year in the AHL doesn’t mean they won’t be playing a lot of games for the Islanders this year. A wise man once said, “you can’t see the forest for the trees”.