The New York Islanders surprised everyone when they took Simon Holmstrom 23rd overall in the 2019 NHL draft. But he’s still with the Isles as training camp closes out, much to the surprise of everyone.
He wasn’t supposed to be taken in the first round of the 2019 NHL draft. But the New York Islanders defied the expectations placed on Swedish winger Simon Holmstrom by taking him 23rd overall.
He was supposed to be, at best, a second-round pick. But the Islanders didn’t want to wait and took Holmstrom as soon as they could. Confusing everyone. Holmstrom spent most of his draft year on the sidelines due to injury. What did the Islanders see in this kid that others didn’t?
The expectation for Holmstrom after he was drafted was to eventually make his way to North America and maybe one day make the NHL. But only a few weeks into his stay with the Islanders and Holmstrom is defying those expectations.
After a number of cuts to the Islanders training camp roster, the surprising first-round pick is still on the roster. And according to Arthur Staple, the Islanders prospect has impressed a number of the team’s vets.
Holmstrom shouldn’t still be at camp. The expectation was that he’d show up, take in as much as possible and then head back to HV71 where he would play for their senior side. The Swedish Hockey League season began on September 14th. Holmstrom should have been back by now.
Or at least that’s what we all thought. That’s what I thought anyway. A kid who was taken late in the first round and well above where he should have been taken in the first place was going to take a while to do anything. That’s conventional wisdom anyways.
But as training camp progresses towards its end and Simon Holmstrom is still here our expectations of him have to change. It seems like he’s going to stay in North America and lineup with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the AHL.
If he can stay healthy, which has been difficult for Holmstrom, he’ll have a good chance to play with some equally talented players in the Islanders system. Players like Kieffer Bellows, Oliver Wahlstrom, and Otto Koivula.
Not to mention he’ll only be a step away from the NHL only a single year after being taken in the first round of the draft.
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The New York Islanders defied expectations when they drafted Holmstrom and now he’s doing the same for them in the preseason. I look forward to Holmstrom continuing to defy expectations.