Islanders: Four Islanders Prospects Looking to Crack the NHL Lineup in 2022-23

Edmonton Oilers v New York Islanders
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Robin Salo

Robin Salo
Edmonton Oilers v New York Islanders / Steven Ryan/GettyImages

Robin Salo made his NHL debut this season and is the most anticipated prospect to solidify himself on the Islanders roster, especially given that the Islanders' blue line needs to get younger. In 21 games at the varsity level, Salo potted his first NHL goal and added four assists. He showed signs of being a quality puck-moving defenseman at the NHL level but also showed he needed some more seasoning in his North American game.

Salo was reassigned to Bridgeport after the Islanders returned to health following a Covid outbreak. In 40 games at the AHL level, Salo tallied 20 points (four goals, 16 assists) in 40 games. His 0.50 points per game led all Jr. Islanders defensemen this season.

Back in March, Zdeno Chara went to the injured reserve and instead of Salo getting a recall, Parker Wotherspoon received the promotion. When asked, Barry Trotz clarified the reasoning for Wotherspoon jumping Salo in the depth chart:

"He hasn't played as well as he's needed to play. He should be an impact and the best defenseman. He hasn't been."

Barry Trotz

Salo turned things around, however, ending the AHL season with seven points (one goal, six assists) in his last eight games. In six games in the Calder Cup Playoffs, Salo tallied two points leading Jr. Islander defenseman in the category.

Salo is the closest to NHL ready of any Jr. Islander. Heading into his age-24 season, a strong offseason and training camp could solidify him on the NHL roster for 2022-23.