Islanders three most improved prospects in the system

Oliver Wahlstrom #26 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Oliver Wahlstrom #26 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New York Islanders
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – JUNE 22: Samuel Bolduc poses after being selected 57th overall by the New York Islanders during the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 22, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /

Samuel Bolduc | Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Starting Rank: 14
Ending Rank: 6

Where they were (and what they did)

The Islanders drafted him in the second round of the2019 draft. Bolduc was one of the picks the Isles got up from the Calgary Flames for Travis Hamonic

He had an incredible 2019-20 season with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and the Sherbrooke Phoenix. In 61 games he put up 43 points. He was nearly a point-per-game player with Phoenix who acquired him via trade from the Armada.

Sherbrooke was the top-ranked team in the QMJHL in 19-20 with 106 points. Unfortunately, there were no playoffs that year so the Phoenix and Bolduc had to content themselves with a single trophy, the Jean Rougeau, as the regular season champs.

Why they jumped as high as they did

Samuel Bolduc wasn’t a new name to the organization. He turned heads at the 2019 training camp. Still too young for the AHL he went back to the QMJHL after camp. This year was different. Sort of.

He turned heads at camp once again. At the conclusion of camp, Trotz said Bolduc and fellow prospect Bode Wilde could be John Carlson types. This time though, Bolduc could meet the AHL’s age requirement. He’d go pro. And he excelled.

Only Cole Bardreau had more production than Bolduc for the Sound Tigers this season. In his first year as a pro, Bolduc put up six goals and 14 points. An impressive run in his first year as a pro.

Bolduc was an important player for the Sound Tigers this year. We don’t have TOI to measure that but from the games I watched, he was easily a top-four defenseman. TOI might show he’s a top pair guy. Again, in year one.

Next year is going to be an interesting one for Bolduc. Will he get an NHL spot? Or is it back to the AHL where he’ll probably dominate? I would imagine it’s the latter but it’s easy to see the former happening.