In this latest New York Islanders prospects report, I wanted to focus on 2019 first-round pick Simon Holmstrom and his display for Team Sweden at the WJC.
Going into the World Junior Championship Simon Holmstrom was still relatively unseen by a number of New York Islanders fans. The 2019 first-round pick has spent the 19-20 and 20-21 season bouncing from the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Vita Hasten in the Swedish Allsvenskan, and now playing for Team Sweden at the World Junior Championships.
But it wasn’t until the WJC that many fans got to see Holmstrom in action thanks to the tournament being broadcast on the NHL Network in the US and TSN in Canada. And while Sweden has only played a single game, Holmstrom impressed with his offensive abilities.
In a 7-1 win over the Czech Republic, Holmstrom put up two points on the power play (a primary and secondary assist), had three shots on goal, and finished with 14:01 of ice time.
The 23rd overall pick in 2019 by the Islanders dazzled with some creative abilities like this audacious between the legs dangle to get a shot on goal. His display on the ice impressed a number of fans who haven’t been able to see the young Swede play yet.
Holmstrom’s coach for Team Sweden stated that his experience playing on the smaller North American ice (playing for the Sound Tigers in the AHL) is an advantage for him over some of his teammates.
Sweden and Simon Holmstrom are back on the ice on Monday for a 6 PM (ET) puck drop against Austria.
The Rest of the Prospect Pool in Action
Matias Rajaniemi (Pelicans)
Season stats: 18GP, 2A, 2pts,13:36ATOI
Rajaniemi is also at the World Juniors. His Finnish side beat the Swiss 4-1, but Rajaniemi wasn’t on the ice. He was a healthy scratch by the Finns. We’ll see if that trend continues against Slovakia on Wednesday.
Ruslan Iskhakov (TPS)
Season stats: 17GP, 2G, 6A, 8pts
TPS and the Finnish elite league were back on the ice much sooner than I had anticipated. The league had stopped play until after Christmas and everyone I spoke to believed play would be pushed until the New Year. That wasn’t the case.
Iskhakov has a point and nine shots on goals in the two games played since TPS have returned. His faceoff numbers (~25%) need to get better.
Anatoly Golyshev (Avtomobilist)
Season stats: 33GP, 10G, 13A, 23pts
After picking up a slight injury according to Avtomobilist spokesperson, Golyshev was back on the ice for the Yekaterinburg side with a primary assist on an Alexei Makeyev game-winner against Amur.
Robin Salo (Orebro)
Season stats: 23GP, 3G, 12A, 15pts, 22:39 ATOI
After representing Team Finland at the Channel One Cup in Moscow, Salo was back in Sweden with his Orebro side against third-place team Vaxjo. Salo and Orebro put up a dominant performance in a 6-2 win.
Salo had three points – a goal and two helpers – and finished the game with a team-high 21:07 of ice time.
Alexander Ljungkrantz (Brynas):
Season stats: J20 – 16GP, 8G, 7A, 15pts / SHL – 8GP, 0pts, 3:07ATOI
Ljungkrantz, the Islanders third-round pick from 2020, is still with the Brynas’s SHL side while they wait for the J20 season to start up again in the new year. He’s being used as an extra forward for now.
Want your voice heard? Join the Eyes On Isles team!
The following players aren’t in action though some will return to the ice soon. I’ve ordered these prospects by their next scheduled game date:
Dec 28: Ben Mirageas (Providence) – 5GP, 0pts
Dec 31: Collin Adams (North Dakota) – 10GP, 4G, 5A, 10pts
Jan 1: Logan Cockerill (Boston U) – N/A
Jan 2: Henrik Tikkanen (IPK) – 9GP, 2.55GAA, 0.901SV%
Jan 3: Christian Krygier (Minnesota State) – 8GP, 1G, 1pt
Jan 8: Alex Jefferies (Merrimack) – 4GP, 3G, 2A, 5pts
Jan 9: Jacob Pivonka (Notre Dame) – 10GP, 1G, 2A, 3pts
Jan 22: William Dufour (Voltigeurs) – 8GP, 6G, 4A, 10pts
Oliver Wahlstrom: 10GP, 4G, 4A, 8pts
Reece Newkirk: 12GP, 4G, 8A, 12pts
Otto Koivula: 13GP, 3G, 8A, 11pts
Jakub Skarek: 4GP, 4.44GAA, 0.833SV%