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Islanders Prospects

Islanders prospects daily: Matias Rajaniemi scores first playoff goal

EDMONTON, AB - JANUARY 05: Matias Rajaniemi #12 of Finland skates against Russia during the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship bronze medal game at Rogers Place on January 5, 2021 in Edmonton, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB - JANUARY 05: Matias Rajaniemi #12 of Finland skates against Russia during the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship bronze medal game at Rogers Place on January 5, 2021 in Edmonton, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
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Here’s you’re daily New York Islanders prospects report. You’ll find out who played yesterday (and how they did), who’s playing today (and what to look for), and every few updates I’ll tell you how these prospects have moved up (or down) in my prospects rankings.

Prospects in action yesterday (23/4/21)

  • Ruslan Iskhakov (TPS)
    • Stats: 1A, 7SOG, 18:49TOI
    • Playoff stats: 3GP, 2A, 16:34 ATOI
  • Matias Rajaniemi (Pelicans)
    • Stats: 1G, 5SOG, 15:11TOI
    • Playoff stats: 2GP, 1G, 13:56 ATOI
  • Robin Salo (Orebro)
    • Stats: 3SOG, 19:15TOI
    • Playoff stats: 6GP, 4A, 20:52 ATOI

Facing elimination the Lahden Pelicans pushed for final game five. They after a 2-0 loss the last time out they pumped five past TPS to take a 5-3 win yesterday. Amongst the goals for Lahden was 19-year-old, and Islanders 2020 sixth-round pick, Matias Rajaniemi.

The tall defender was able to rifle a wrist shot from the top of the left circle through traffic and into the net. The goal is only his fourth on the year and his first point since March 17. With Game five set for tomorrow, I imagine Pelicans run with Rajaniemi once again.

For his part, Iskhakov picked up a primary assist on Petteri Wirtanen’s power-play goal late in the third period. The Isles second-round pick from 2018 retrieved the puck in the front of the net and was able to dish it to the Finnish forward.

It’s wild to me that the smallest player on the ice (Iskhakov) is used as a net-front presence on the power play. Clearly, he’s not being used to screen the goalie with his size and bulk, but rather he’s there to find pucks and use his incredible hands and puck skills to find open teammates or dish them on net himself.

New York Islanders prospects in action today (24/4/21)

  • Reece Newkirk (Winterhawks)
  • Bridgeport Sound Tigers

It’s been a few days since the Portland Winterhawks have hit the ice. Their last game was on April 18, where they lost 6-2 to the Everett Silvertips. They take on Mathew Barzal’s old club the Seattle Thunderbirds today.

Reece Newkirk is riding a two-game point streak entering the game (1G, 2A). Their last game against Seattle ended 3-1 in favor of Newkirk’s side.

All eyes should be on Arnaud Durandeau for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers today. The former sixth-round pick has been hot-hot-hot with six points in his last four games. He’s riding a two-game multi-point streak. Can he keep it up?

He’s got four points in his last three games against the Wolf Pack so I don’t see why not. I don’t see why Brent Thompson would change Durandeau-Koivula-Timashov as a line. They’ve been very effective for an otherwise offensively challenged Sound Tigers team.

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