Much has been said about the lack of high-end prospects within the NY Islanders pipeline, as they've been ranked near the bottom of the league by multiple publications. While the Isles may not have a game-breaker who can jump into the lineup and produce off the bat, five Islanders prospects will compete in the 2023 World Junior Summer Showcase beginning on Saturday. The USA will field two rosters along with Finland and Sweden for a total of four teams in these exhibition games that will assist each nation in choosing their roster for the 2024 World Junior Championship, held in Sweden from Dec. 26-Jan. 5.
University of Wisconsin
2023 6th Rd. #177
University of Wisconsin
2022 3rd Rd. #78
University of Notre Dame
2023 2nd Rd. #49
2022 2nd Rd. #65
2023 4th Rd. #68
Games will be played every other day between July 29-August 4th, for a total of four for each team, with all games being played at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. August 2nd will be the biggest day of action as bitter rivals Finland and Sweden face off against one another, followed by the two USA teams meeting head-to-head.
Last year, Danny Nelson and Zach Schulz spent the season together as they took home the gold medal at the 2023 U-18 World Championship, but here, they'll be lined up against each other. Nelson will be teamed with 2022 third-round pick Quinn Finley, as the future Big 10 rivals will look to build some chemistry if they're to find themselves on a line together.
Calle Odelius was part of the 2023 Swedish WJC roster but found himself in a limited role as the knockout stages began. He'll have his first opportunity to impress management once again, as this year will be a big one for his development. Odelius and Djurgårdens barely missed out on promotion to the SHL last season as they lost in seven games during the HockeyAllsvenskan finals, hoping to bring his team back to the top flight before possibly departing for Bridgeport.
While Schulz and Nelson found team success at the U-18 World Championships, Jesse Nurmi and Finland struggled. The Finns were upset in the quarterfinals by Slovakia, ending their tournament hopes earlier than expected. Nurmi finished with five points in five games and has a chance to make Finland's WJC roster, as the nation of only 5.5 million people hasn't produced the strongest draft classes in the past two years.
This could be one of the only opportunities to see some of the Islanders' top prospects on the same ice competing against one another. It will be interesting to see if any of these prospects can carry over any success from these few games into their seasons with their current clubs and catapult themselves into a higher prospect tier.