Islanders prospects report: Final day of SM-Liiga regular-season

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). /

Welcome to your daily recap for New York Islanders prospects! 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.

Prospects update from yesterday

  • Robin Salo (Orebro)
    • Stats: 1A, 2SOG, 19:21TOI
    • Playoff stats: 2GP, 2A, 18:54 TOI

Salo’s strong play continues for Orerbo who take a 2-0 lead in their first-round matchup against Leksands. The Islanders prospect, who will report to North America when his playoff run is over, continues to be a strong player for his SHL side.

His ability to skate the puck into the offensive zone has always been a strong part of his game, but over the last year-plus, since joining Orebro, it’s only gotten better. His second assist of the playoffs comes from Salo driving the O-Zone and generating a juicy rebound off the rush. Watch:

True the defense looks bad here, but the more you watch this play the more you notice that it’s by design. This is a set play by Orebro that comes off perfectly. Orebro’s movement off the puck allows Salo to find holes in order to get that puck on the net. Great stuff.

New York Islanders prospects in action today

  • Ruslan Iskhakov (TPS)
  • Henrik Tikkanen (IPK)*
  • Bridgeport Sound Tigers

It’s the final day of the Finnish Liiga’s regular season and just about every team is in action (14 of 15 teams are playing). With three Finnish-based prospects, this should be a busy day, but only one is really playing: Iskhakov.

TPS has the third spot locked up a win here does nothing for them in the standings. But it would go a long way to help them out psychologically. Today’s game is against the top-ranked side Lukko. A team TPS has only bested once this year, and that was all the way back on October 3rd.  That was a long time ago, a win today could give TPS a bit more confidence going into the playoffs.

On an individual level, Iskhakov has yet to record a point against Lukko all year, perhaps today is the day he gets one?

The Lahti Pelicans are in action today, but Matias Rajaniemi is still out of the lineup. I’m checking in as to why, but I would imagine it’s more squad rotation for the young man.

Tikkanen still isn’t playing for IPK. He’s on the bench as the backup. While getting the chance to play (and shine) and the Liiga level was certainly great for him, it’s also likely the reason he isn’t getting any starts right now.

The Finnish Mestis league has begun their playoffs and as such, it seems that they want to reward the players that got them there rather than run a goalie rotation. To be fair to Samu Pakarinen (the starter), he has better numbers (2.68GAA and 0.907SV%) than Tikkanen (3.25GAA and 0.8774SV%).