Islanders: 3 prospects with best chance of making team from camp

The New York Islanders skate during training camp (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The New York Islanders skate during training camp (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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GLENDALE, AZ – JANUARY 22: Sebastian Aho #28 of the New York Islanders skates with the puck during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Sebastian Aho

Why they could make the team…

Sebastian Aho has been holding the clipboard for a while now. The fifth-round pick in 2017 played three games across all competitions last year. For 90% of the 2021-22 season, he was riding the Islanders taxi squad. A position he also held during the 2020 playoff run.

The Islanders must like him enough to warrant keeping him around the team for so long. And there’s something definitely to like with his game. At the AHL level, Aho has been a standout player for years now.

Since 2017-18, when he made his North American professional debut, Aho has 105 points in 156 games played.

Aho is a smart player who can skate very well. He’s a puck carrier who sees the game well. He fits the Isles needs. Being around the team but not playing might seem like a knock, but we know it takes time for players to adjust to Barry Trotz’s system. So being around the team might just be a good thing.

Why they won’t make the team…

He isn’t very big. I know that shouldn’t be an issue. Talent should dictate what gets a player to the NHL, but we know size matters. And at about 5’10” and around 176lbs, Sebastian Aho doesn’t have “NHL size”. Which means he has to stand out that much more compared to someone who’s only a few inches taller.

And while he put up two points in three games at the NHL level last year he wasn’t great defensively. And as we know in Barry’s system playing well defensively matters just as much as your production.

Aho’s size and his weak(ish) defensive game will likely hold him back from making the team.