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Editorials

Islanders: A deep look at left wing depth

bweinberger
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 30: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders skates during warm ups before the game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on January 30, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 30: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders skates during warm ups before the game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on January 30, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
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AMHERST, MA – NOVEMBER 22: The Merrimack College Warriors huddle before a game against the Massachusetts Minutemen during NCAA men’s hockey at the Mullins Center on November 22, 2019 in Amherst, Massachusetts. The game ended in a 2-2 tie. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
AMHERST, MA – NOVEMBER 22: The Merrimack College Warriors huddle before a game against the Massachusetts Minutemen during NCAA men’s hockey at the Mullins Center on November 22, 2019 in Amherst, Massachusetts. The game ended in a 2-2 tie. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

Alex Jefferies and Eetu Liukas

Alex Jefferies was a 4th round pick in 2020. He played for several U18 prep organizations, scoring pretty well, including 69 points in 32 games for The Gunnery of the USHS-Prep league.

If you’ve never heard of the USHS-Prep league, don’t worry, neither had I. It’s a league of high schools in the United States. Notable alumni include Jonathan Toews, Zach Parise, and Sidney Crosby. Yeah, seriously.

It’s very difficult to discern much about players from high schools. Many of their top all-time scorers are players I’ve never heard of (check out the list here if you’re curious). But Jefferies scored a lot of points there while playing for a team called The Gunnery, which is a cool name.

He then went on to Merrimack College in the NCAA, where he scored 10 points in 12 games in 2020-21. He’ll be back at Merrimack next year. Who knows, maybe he’ll become a good prospect – it’s too early to tell. He’s interesting, at least.

Finally, the last left-wing in the organization is Eetu Liukas. Liukas was a 5th round pick in 2021, after scoring 3 points in 19 games with TPS in Liiga, the top Finnish league. 3 in 19 doesn’t sound very good, but he was playing with fully-grown men in a real professional league.

The year before, he had 26 points in 47 games with TPS’s U20 team. He’ll be back at TPS next year. Liukas is only 18 years old, so it’s way too early to determine whether he might be good – but playing in a pro league is a good start.

If I missed somebody, it’s probably because I’ll be discussing them in the C or RW article (Komarov or Panik, for example). But feel free to check with me on Twitter – if you catch a mistake, I’ll give you a shoutout in the next article!

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. I won’t answer questions in this article (because it’s already very long!) but if you have any questions, put them in the comments below, or ask me on Twitter!

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