Defense and Goaltending
- Mitchell Vande Sompel (LD)
- Robin Salo (LD)
- Samuel Bolduc (LD)
- Bode Wilde (RD)
- Parker Wotherspoon (LD)
- Ben Mirageas (LD)
- Matias Rajaniemi (LD)
- Christian Krygier (LD)
- Misha Song (LD)
It’s wild to think that the Islanders don’t have any depth on the right side of the blueline. Bode Wilde is the only right-handed defenseman in the system for the Islanders.
The guys in the top five are miles ahead of the guys in the bottom half and that’s after I give defensemen a bump for low-scoring totals compared to forwards.
It’s clear my rankings need to do a better job of ranking defense-first defensemen. Just look at the bottom tier (outside of Song), all are “stay-at-home” defensemen. Having them so low isn’t necessarily fair to the positions they play. Finding a way to remove that bias from my model is going to be difficult but it’s necessary.
Take for instance Ben Mirageas. He ranks sixth for defensemen and 19th overall. But he’s had a solid four years with Providence and helped them get to the National Semifinals in 2018-19. He’s a good shutdown guy but he’s low in the rankings because of that role.
There are only two in the system and I’ve yet to figure out how to rank goalies. But if I did it would be:
- Jakub Skarek
- Henrik Tikkanen
Tikkanen is a distant second here. Skarek is playing well enough for a bad Bridgeport side. While Tikkanen is (unfortunately) the second-string goalie in the second tier of Finnish hockey. The gulf in quality between the AHL and Liiga is already pretty large, you can imagine how large it is from the AHL level to the Mestis level.