One round after Holmström, Samuel Bolduc was selected by Lamoriello and the Islanders in the second round, 57th overall. Since then, Bolduc made his way up the Islanders' prospect depth chart with an impressive training camp in January of 2021 in the abbreviated NHL season. Trotz said Bolduc played well enough to stick with the varsity Islanders and almost remained with them for the season on the taxi squad.
The Islanders ultimately decided it would be best for Bolduc to return to Bridgeport that season. In 24 games Bolduc tallied 14 points (six goals, eight assists) and was named an All-Star for the 2020-21 season. The following season, Bolduc dealt with a lingering injury heading into training camp this past season:
"If he goes too much longer, he’ll probably fall into that area where we’ll have to see him work his way through Bridgeport. We know what kind of prospect he is. He can do his best to change our minds. But this is a good prospect who will be a big part of our future. If he doesn’t catch up the next couple days, we’ll just have to see his deal in Bridgeport."- Barry Trotz
Well, Bolduc didn't have the best showing in his 2021-22 campaign. In 57 games, Bolduc totaled two goals and five assists. That's a pretty significant setback after being named an All-Star the year before. It's unclear as to if Bolduc was dealing with the nagging injury the Islanders knew about for the entire season, but the 21-year-old defenseman was also scratched for the entire Jr. Islander playoff run.
Bolduc is still regarded as an important prospect in the Islanders system known for being a significant force on both ends of the ice. He'll look to rebound in 2022-23 starting with a strong showing at training camp. He's already impressed once before shortly followed by an All-Star nomination. It's not unheard of for players to have down seasons in the AHL followed by an impressive showing at training camp to claim a roster spot. With the varsity Islanders currently as thin as it is, a spot could be up for grabs if Bolduc wants it bad enough.