Islanders fourth round pick going off in NCAA

Merrimack v Massachusetts-Amherst
Merrimack v Massachusetts-Amherst / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

The 2020 draft wasn't going to be a great one for the New York Islanders. Going into the entry draft, the Islanders didn't have a first-round pick or a second-round pick. Both were sent to Ottawa for Jean-Gabriel Pageau at the 2020 trade deadline.

So you can understand why there wasn't a ton of hype from the fans going into the entry draft. But since then, some of the picks the Islanders have made are drawing a lot of interest. One of those picks is fourth-round pick, Alex Jefferies.

He had a standout out freshman year with Merrimack College. A season that even earned him a modest number of Hobey Baker votes. This year, Jefferies is showing that wasn't a fluke.

New York Islanders fourth rounder is going off in the NCAA

You might expect a fourth-round pick to have a sophomore slump after such a good rookie year. After all, freshmen don't typically get top-six assignments as Jefferies did in his first year. In year two, he might take a step back as he steps back down the roster.

And, to be fair, that looked to be the case at the start of the year. Through his first 17 games, Jefferies wasn't having the same impact he had in his freshman year with nine-point (3G, 6A). He wasn't standing out as he did in his freshman year. Transfers like Max Newton and Steven Jendric were the top players on the squad and Jefferies was bumped down the order.

But of late, Jefferies has stepped up big. In his following eleven games, he's picked up eleven points (6G, 5A). Going into the final weekend of February, Jefferies was riding a three-game goal streak with four goals in that stretch including a two-goal game against Vermont.

At the time of writing, he's already picked up a primary assist to put him at 12 points in 12 games with an even split of six goals and six helpers.

Jefferies has been a big part as to why the Minute Men are 9-2 in their last elven games and climbing up the Hockey East standings. Merrimack is tied for fourth in points with 38 from 21 games.

A fourth-round pick is never a sure thing. But to see this fourth-rounder improve year-over-year you have to be excited as an Islanders fan. Jefferies is someone to keep an eye on because at this rate he's a name you might have to familiarize yourself with.