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Islanders prospects daily: Matias Rajaniemi eliminated from playoffs

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.

Note that there are no prospects in action today, which is kind of a good thing because there were a number of games yesterday featuring Islanders prospects to get to.

Prospects in action yesterday (25/4/21)

  • Robin Salo (Orebro)
    • Stats: 1SOG, 20:39 TOI
    • Playoff stats: 7GP, 4A, 20:50 ATOI
  • Ruslan Iskhakov (TPS)
    • Stats: 3SOG, 57.1 FOW%, 14:28TOI
    • Playoff stats: 5GP, 2A, 16:09 ATOI
  • Matias Rajaniemi (Pelicans)
    • Stats: 3 SOG, 12:48TOI
    • Playoff stats: 3GP, 1G, 13:34 ATOI
  • Reece Newkirk (Winterhawks)
    • Stats: 1A, 2SOG, 85.7 FOW%
    • Season stats: 16GP, 7G, 11A, 18Pts

Orebro are now behind 2-1 in their semifinal matchup against Vaxjo. Yesterday, Robin Salo’s side lost 1-0 as both defensive-fist teams stifled one another up-and-down the ice. Tuesday’s game 4 will be an elimination game now for Orebro. The first time they face elimination during the playoffs.

Unfortunately for Matias Rajaniemi, his side has been knocked out of the Liiga playoffs after a 2-1 loss in game 5 to TPS. Rajaniemi only played 12 minutes worth of ice time. The 18-year-old still has a lot of growing to do but the fact that he’s so young and playing meaningful games against men is a huge deal.

Next year should be a big year for him. He’ll certainly jump into the team’s top four instead of essentially being the 6-7 d-man on the roster. He’ll have just turned 19 when the 2021-22 season begins.

New York Islanders Ruslan Iskhakov moves on to second round

With the Pelicans out that means TPS moves on to round two where they’ll play Helsinki side HIFK. Ruslan had a good series even if he didn’t put up a ton of points, with only two helpers. But he was a good two-way center for them. He was averaging 30 seconds more per game and won the majority of his draws (56.9 FOW%).

In the second round, they’ll play a team they went 1-1-1 on the year. They haven’t seen them since January 29. HIFK spent much of the latter part of the year off the ice in quarantine.

That didn’t seem to affect HIFK who swept Karpat 3-0 by a combined score of 13-8. This will be a tough contest for TPS. The series will start on Thursday. Here’s the schedule:

  • Game 1: April 29
  • Game 2: April 30
  • Game 3: May 2
  • Game 4: May 3 (If needed)
  • Game 5: May 5 (If needed)

I believe there was a stat correction for Reece Newkirk. He was sitting at 18 points on 15 games and picked up a primary assist last night for the Winterhawks, but is still sitting at 18 points on the year.

I expect he’ll get that 19th point back at some point soon. I was sure he was credited with a second assist yesterday before it was taken off the board.

Not that one point will matter all that much. He’s still a top player for the Winterhawks this season.

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