Islanders Three Young Players Who Will Impact The Team This Season

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 25: Oliver Wahlstrom #26 of the New York Islanders skates against the Boston Bruins at Nassau Coliseum on February 25, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 25: Oliver Wahlstrom #26 of the New York Islanders skates against the Boston Bruins at Nassau Coliseum on February 25, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New York Islanders are off to a hot start after playing their first pre-season game on Sunday. The Islanders shut out their cross-town rivals, the New York Rangers four to zero. This win came off of a strong showing by two members of the identity line of the Islanders, with Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas, who picked up one goal each.

Islanders fans have a lot to be excited about heading into this season. First and foremost, we have Anders Lee back and ready to go. Lee, who missed most of last season due to an injury, is forecasted to have a bounce-back year. We are certainly very happy to see him back on the ice where he belongs.

However, Islanders fans also have another big reason to be excited. The New York Islanders have a ton of talented young guns who are ready to play this year. Last season, we began to see the younger players making a statement, and this season they will make a much bigger impact on the team.

Islanders Young Guns

1. Noah Dobson

Noah Dobson is coming off a great season. Last year, he played in 46 games total. Throughout that span, Dobson picked up 14 points, off of three goals and 11 assists. He also made his presence felt in the playoffs. Despite not having any goals, he picked up seven assists for seven points in total.

Dobson played great on the defensive front last season. He put up impressive offensive numbers as well for a defenseman. This season is going to be different for sure. With the losses the Islanders have had on defense, we don’t know how the defensive pairs will shape up to be.

Dobson will continue providing for his team this season on both the offensive and defensive sides. Dobson, I think will finish the season with 25-30 points. I also predict that Dobson will start seeing a lot more ice-time. Dobson may even get some games where he plays on the second line, as opposed to the third where he was last season.

2. Ilya Sorokin

How anyone can leave Sorokin off this list, shocks me. In his first season for the Islanders, Ilya Sorokin put up incredible numbers for a goalie. Sorokin played in 22 games total last season. He has a record of 13-6 with three overtimes. What I found to be most shocking, is his save percentage was .918% and had a GAA of 2.17%.

Sorokin was a rookie with a save percentage over .9%. That is massive for the Islanders. On top of all that, he shut out the other team in three games. During the playoffs, Sorokin played in only seven games. However, he still put up respectable numbers as well, there too. His record was four wins and one loss and his save percentage was .922%. His GAA here was 2.79% as well.

This season, I would expect to see Sorokin play a lot more than he did last year. Last season he started in roughly 35% of games. This season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start in closer to 50% of their games. I see his save percentage and goals allowed against staying roughly the same. Sorokin will continue to be a force in the net and the future is very bright for him.

3. Oliver Wahlstrom

Last season Oliver Wahlstrom played in 44 games. Wahlstrom finished the season with 12 goals and 9 assists for a total of 21 points. This was Wahlstrom’s second season with the Islanders, but many fans consider it to be his first real one since the previous season he only played in nine games.

Wahlstrom also played fantastic in the playoffs last season, prior to getting injured. Unfortunately, he got hurt pretty early on so the Islanders played a lot of games without him. In Wahlstrom’s five games played, he picked up three points off of one goal and two assists. For a younger player, these numbers are great in the playoffs. He also did a great job at making plays and finding open teammates all of last season as well.

The Islanders are lacking a sniper. It helps that Lee is back but that doesn’t solve all the issues. It’s already been noted that there is a possibility we will see Wahlstrom get some first-line minutes with Lee and Barzal. This would be huge for him. Wahlstrom is a young star and will be a great asset for the team going forward. Last season he had 21 points in total. This season, don’t be shocked if you see that number double.

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This season is going to be a good one Islanders fans. We have a lot to be excited about. Whether it be Lee’s return, or all of these young stars coming up. Although they’re not mentioned above, we have guys like Robin Salo, Sebastian Aho, Otto Koivula, and even Ross Johnston who will all be assets to the team’s success. We have a lot to be excited about Islanders fans, as the new campaign begins.