Islanders prospects daily: Ruslan Iskhakov on dominant run

New York Islanders prospect Ruslan Iskhakov. Photo property of TPS. Used by permission of Eero Tuominen (TPS Head of Marketing and Communications).
New York Islanders prospect Ruslan Iskhakov. Photo property of TPS. Used by permission of Eero Tuominen (TPS Head of Marketing and Communications).
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New York Islanders prospect Ruslan Iskhakov #22 of the Russian Nationals (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
New York Islanders prospect Ruslan Iskhakov #22 of the Russian Nationals (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /

Here’s your daily recap of yesterday’s games, updates, and rankings for New York Islanders prospects and players within the system.

This is the seventh post of what has been a daily update on New York Islanders prospects and players within the system.

You’ll find an update on stats from prospects in action yesterday, a round-up of who’s playing today, and I’ll tell you how some of those prospects in action yesterday are doing in my prospects rankings.

Prospect Update from Yesterday

  • Ruslan Iskhakov (TPS)
    • Stats: 1G, 2A, 2SOG, 71.4% FOW, 13:39TOI
  • Matias Rajaniemi (Pelicans)
    • Stats: N/A
  • Henrik Tikannen (KalPa)*
    • N/A
  • Robin Salo (Orebro)
    • 1SOG, 16:27 TOI

Huge game from Ruslan Iskhakov who’s on a six-game point streak for TPS. While not a streak, he’s put up 15 points in his last 15 games and has moved up to 27th in scoring in the Finnish Liiga.

With only a year on his TPS contact (signed in the offseason). It wouldn’t surprise me to see him in the AHL next year. The Islanders desperately need depth down the middle in their organization.

I thought Matias’s game time the other day was low, and yesterday he didn’t play for Lahti. I suspect he picked up an injury that I wasn’t aware of. I reached out to the team to see if my suspicion is correct and if there’s a timeline for his recovery.

Friday I spoke with Tikkanen’s GM Anssi Laine, and he had nothing but good things to say about his netminder. I’ll have the chat go up a little later on the site, but essentially, Laine believes that the NHL is very much a possibility for the Isles seventh-rounder.

Salo only played 16:27 yesterday, which sounds low, but Orebro ran away with the game 7-1. Head coach Niklas Eriksson was clearly rotating his team with short shifts knowing he had a game the next day. There wasn’t a single defenseman that finished with more than 18:08 of ice time.

Robin Salo is interviewed after being selected 46th overall by the New York Islanders (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Robin Salo is interviewed after being selected 46th overall by the New York Islanders (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Prospects (and players in the system) in Action Today

  • Robin Salo (Orebro)
  • Logan Cockerill (BU)
  • Ben Mirageas (Providence)
  • Jacob Pivonka (N.Dame)
  • Christian Krygier (MSU)

With a win today, Robin Salo and Orebro can jump into third played by leapfrogging Skelleftea and set themselves up with a more favorable playoff matchup in the first round. With four matches left on the season, Orebro is in the final stages of cementing a place in the playoffs and perhaps next season’s CHL.

BU plays a quarter-final match against UMass. Captain Logan Cockerill had a strong, albeit short season, with nine points in ten games. He’ll hope to push his team further with a win today. They beat UMass 3-2 just a few days ago so this one could be a close one.

Mirageas’s Providence will take on UConn as they look to make a push in the playoffs. Providence is 15-13 in Hockey East playoffs games with Nate Leaman behind the bench. But the last time these two played UConn won 5-3 thanks to a three-goal first period.

Jacob Pivonka’s Notre Dame side have had Penn State’s number with back-to-back wins at the start of March by a combined score of 12-3. Pivonka may not be getting a bunch of points in those games but he’s been dominant in the faceoff dot all year for Notre Dame. With 42 draws taken across the last two games vs Penn State, Pivonka holds a 69% efficiency.

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – JANUARY 21: Kieffer Bellows #20 of the New York Islanders prepares his sticks prior to the game against the New Jersey Devils at Nassau Coliseum on January 21, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – JANUARY 21: Kieffer Bellows #20 of the New York Islanders prepares his sticks prior to the game against the New Jersey Devils at Nassau Coliseum on January 21, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Prospect Rankings and Movement

Ruslan Iskhakov ↑ | Parker Wotherspoon ↓

Iskhakov is steadily rising in my rankings with his play in Finland. Thanks to a three-point night he’s up to number eight in my rankings. He’s just behind Bode Wilde at number seven. With the way, Wilde has been playing it wouldn’t surprise me if Iskhakov passes him soon.

The fact that he’s catching up and passing a number of AHL’ers while playing in Finland should have Islanders fans excited about the 2018 second-rounder.

Remember, he’s one of those pieces the Islanders acquired in the Travis Hamonic trade. If he pans out that means the Isles got Noah Dobson, Samuel Bolduc, and Iskhakov from Hamonic wanting to go back home. That’s an incredible haul. Again, assuming Iskhakov continues developing along these lines.

Kieffer Bellows ↑ | Oliver Wahlstrom ↓

With two goals last night for the Islanders, Kieffer Bellows passed Oliver Wahlstrom at the top of my Islanders prospects rankings.

He’s still got a lot to do in order to earn that top-line spot on a more permanent basis, but he’s given Barry Trotz food for thought now. If Bellows can keep up that level of play he’ll give the Isles a positive headache when Anders Lee eventually returns to the lineup.

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