Looking through the New York Islanders system, who are the blue and orange’s top ten prospects, and why?
With the trade deadline approaching, we’re going to hear and see a lot of names from the New York Islanders system bandied about in various deals. With the Isles in a win-now mode, they can’t necessarily afford to lose a roster player, meaning Lou will have to deal from the prospect pool to make a trade.
So, looking at the Islanders prospects pool, here are the top ten names in the system (ranked) based on how close they are to making the jump to the NHL and how well they are doing this so far this season.
1. Sebastian Aho | 38GP, 2G, 20A, 22Pts
If not for Noah Dobson, Sebastian Aho would likely be the Islanders number seven defenseman. For yet another year, the Islanders fifth-round selection in 2017 is having a strong season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
In 40 games he’s already matched his goal total from last year at nine. With 20 helpers for 29 points, he’s on pace for 49 points. A return that would exceed the 46 he scored in 2018-19.
On another team, Sebastian Aho is likely playing in the NHL as a third pair player. Making him a good trade candidate for any team looking to add young depth to their blueline.
2. Ilya Sorokin | 35GP, 1.51GAA, 0.935SV%, 7SO
There’s is no way the Islanders should trade Ilya Sorokin. He hasn’t played in North America yet, but his potential is so great that they can’t pass up bringing him in.
In 239 KHL regular-season games he’s averaging a 1.70GAA and a 0.929SV% with 42 shutouts. His playoff numbers are even more remarkable. In 65 playoff games, he holds a 1.38GAA and 0.928SV% with 14 shutouts.
Again, you just don’t pass Sorokin unless the Isles know he can’t play in the NHL or just won’t play for them. He’ll ideally be here next season. If not for the uncertainty of KHL based prospects making the jump he’d be number one on the list.
3. Oliver Wahlstrom | 27GP, 4G, 8A, 12Pts
His talent level is undeniable. Being able to put it all together is another question. With 12 points in 27 games with the Sound Tigers, he’s not producing at the 0.60 point-per-game clip I was hoping he could.
But to be fair, it’s his first full year of professional hockey and one where the organization is trying to teach him how to play the game. He might be another year off from the NHL, but again, his talent level is unquestionable
4. Otto Koivula | 28GP, 7G, 10A, 17Pts
He’s already being called up by the Islanders to fill a void in the team’s bottom six. The big Finn, taken in the fourth round of the 2016 draft, is one of the Islanders top prospects. He’s part of the Isles next wave of players just about ready to make the jump up to the big leagues.
His versatility of being a winger who can also play center makes him even more valuable.
5. Kieffer Bellows | 43GP, 15G, 7A, 22Pts
After getting scratched twice Bellows tore up the AHL for a 17 game stretch where he scored 13 goals and two assists. This was the Bellows the Isles drafted 19th overall in 2016.
Since things have tapered off with four points in the last seven games. It’s clear he took a step forward in the Islanders system now in his second year of professional hockey.
6. Robin Salo | 43GP, 7G, 13A, 20Pts
The Islanders second-round pick from 2017 is rising up the prospect pool with another solid season with SaiPa in the Finnish league. With his Liiga contract up at the end of the season, he should be in North America as soon as 2020-21.
7. Samuel Bolduc | 46 GP, 9G, 18A, 27Pts
The Big 6’4″ defenseman is having another good year in the QMJHL and just turned 19-years-old in December. Just like Noah Dobson, we won’t see Bolduc can’t play in the AHL until the 2021-2022 season. Bolduc is a few years away still, but the way things are progressing he could very well make a jump in his development in a year.
8. Josh Ho-Sang | 5GP, 0G, 3A, 3Pts
Josh Ho-Sang should top this list. Actually, he shouldn’t be anywhere near this list. But that’s the reality of his situation. With a failed coup to push a trade away from the Islanders, Ho-Sang is having to prove to the hockey world that not only can he play but that he’s a team player.
9. Reece Newkirk | 44GP, 23G, 32A, 55Pts
What a year Newkirk is having for the Portland Winterhawks. The 18-year-old fifth-round pick from 2018 is quickly rising up the ranks in the Islanders prospect pool.
10. Collin Adams | 25GP, 7G, 14A, 21 Pts
In his freshman and sophomore year, Adams combined for 15 points (7G, 8A). Now in his junior year, with more responsibility for the University of North Dakota, the Isles sixth-round pick from 2016 has already scored 21 points.