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Islanders Prospects

Islanders prospects daily: Ruslan Iskhakov makes Liiga playoff debut

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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Only one game for New York Islanders prospects last night. Reece Newkirk was the only player in the Islanders system to hit the ice last night.

Islanders prospects in action yesterday

  • Reece Newkirk (Winterhawks)
    • Stats: 1A, 1SOG
    • Season stats: 14GP, 7G, 9A, 16Pts

I missed Newkirk’s game in yesterday’s prospect update. Not sure why I didn’t notice that. Serves me right for thinking I could sit on the couch and write my update rather than sitting in my office where distractions are limited.

The Islanders prospect continues to have a strong year for the Winterhawks. His 16 points on the year co-leads the team (along with Simon Knack). It’s his second straight season playing at over a point-per-game.

His lone point last night came off a nice play as the young forward does exactly what we all want to see young forwards to; drive the net. Newkirk gets in on goal and generates a rebound that is tucked into the top corner by Ryan McCleary.

New York Islanders prospects in action today

That’s it, that’s the list. Ruslan Iskahkov is the only Islanders prospect to play today. Even though TPS takes on the Lahti Pelicans in the opening round of the Liiga playoffs. You know, the team that holds Islanders 2020 sixth-round pick Matias Rajaniemi.

Rajaniemi hasn’t played since April 6. He’s missed three regular-season games and is now not in the lineup for today’s Game 1. I don’t know if he’s injured or if this is a coaching decision just yet. I’ve reached out to the team for clarification. I should hear back from them tomorrow.

I’m excited to see how Iskhakov does in the post-season. The ‘undersized’ forward has been an offensive force for TPS during the regular season with 38 points in 54 games. Can that continue in the post-season when games matter even more?

It’s been quite the maturation process for Iskhakov this season. He’s gone from not being trusted in the defensive zone to being a solid two-way center for TPS who pushed up the standings to third in the league (based on points-per-game).

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