NY Islanders Prospect Report: Week of 11/28 - 12/2

2019 NHL Draft - Portraits
2019 NHL Draft - Portraits / Kevin Light/GettyImages
3 of 3

Playing in the toughest division in the AHL, the Bridgeport Islanders continue to prove that the run they are on is no fluke and that the team that squeaked into the playoffs last year is a team to be reckoned with in 2022-23. The minor league club of the NY Islanders continues to be one of the surprises in the AHL this season.

Over the past few weeks, it has become a bit of an oddity to see the B-Isles fail to secure at least a point every time they hit the ice. With 32 points lodged so far, Bridgeport sits in third place in the Atlantic Division, which is also good enough for third in the Eastern Conference.

Last week we saw some names who have been missing from the score sheet reappear once again. However, as the injuries begin to rack up for the NHL Islanders, familiar names on the B-Isles roster are beginning to disappear.

Simon Hölmstrom seems to be sticking around with the big club for a bit as Kyle Palmieri continues to recover from an upper-body injury and Hudson Fasching looks like he may be a regular for a bit as Cal Clutterbuck's timetable is unsure. As roster tinkering becomes significant, it will be interesting to see if the B-Isles can maintain their run of play.

Another big name who missed each game last week was Aatu Räty, as the Isles' top prospect has been out with a non-Covid related illness.

Across Canada and the US, Isles prospects had an above-average week, and we even added a new name to our prospect report with the top goaltender in the OHL for November.

Lets check out the week that was for the Islanders top prospects

Matthew Maggio, Windsor Spitfires, OHL (5th Round, 2022)

It seems like each week we are mentioning how Matthew Maggio continues to fill out the score sheet, with last week being no different.

Maggio finished the week with three points (one goal, two assists) as the Windsor Spitfires steamrolled through the competition. The Spitfires captain led the way as Windsor went 3-0 on the week, winning by five, four, and three, respectively.

Maggio remains a top-15 point producer in the OHL with 31 points (14 goals, 17 assists) in 23 games this season. Aside from the personal accolades, Maggio also has the team in third place in the OHL's Western Conference with an OHL championship and a place in the Memorial Cup on the mind of the Isles 2022 draft pick.

Daylan Kuefler, Kamloops Blazers, WHL (6th Round, 2022)

When it comes to the Memorial Cup, Daylan Kuefler and the Kamloops Blazers won't have to sweat it out regarding whether they'll be participating as Kamloops will host the event this season. But a WHL title would be a great way to head into the tournament.

As someone who may have even bigger things on his mind than a WHL title, Conor Bedard paid a visit to Kamloops last week, where the likely top pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft and the Regina Pats had their doors blown off. The Blazers managed to put nine goals on the board, with Kuefler assisting on one.

Kuefler found the back of the net himself in Kamloops trip west to pay a visit to the Vancouver Giants. Just over a minute into the game, on a two-on-one break, Kuefler crossed the blue line with the puck as the defenseman took away the passing lane laying flat out on the ice. Kuefler showed resolve waiting out the goalie as he cut back inside for a better angle before burying the goal.

Kuefler is up to 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists) on the season as his Blazers team sits in third place in the WHL's Western Conference with 33 points.

Isaiah George, London Knights, OHL (4th Round, 2022)

What may be one of the Islanders' most intriguing prospects, the sky seems to be the limit for Isaiah George.

Though he was a fourth-round pick for the Isles, George was ranked as high as the second round by some scouts. His smooth skating and two-way ability seem so effortless, and with a bit more experience and bulk, the 6'0", 200 lbs blueliner could end up being a true steal for the Isles.

Last Tuesday, George had his best game of the season as he led the red-hot London Knights to yet another victory. After falling behind by two goals midway through the first, the Knights seemed to find their game scoring the following six goals on the way to a 6-2 victory.

George found his name in both the goal and assist columns, with an assist on the powerplay and an unassisted goal midway through the second. It was one of George's best performances of the season, which earned him OHL Player of the Night recognition.

George has seven points (two goals, five assists) this season as the Knights continue to roll sitting in second place in the OHL's Western Conference.

Alex Jefferies, Merrimack College, NCAA (4th Round, 2020)

After winning seven straight games, Alex Jefferies and the Merrimack Warriors finally dropped their first game since late October against the eighth-ranked UCONN Huskies. Jefferies scored the Warriors' only goal in the 3-1 defeat.

It would not take long for the Warriors to exact revenge as they traveled to Storrs, CT, in the second of a back-to-back with the Huskies. Jefferies put on his best performance of the season with a goal and three assists on the way to the eleventh-ranked Warriors 7-3 victory.

Jefferies now sits third in the Hockey East Conference with 20 points in 15 games. The Warriors continue their quest for their third NCAA Tournament appearance as one of the surprise teams this season.

Quinn Finley, Madison Capitols, USHL (3rd Round, 2022)

Quinn Finley and the Madison Capitols took a break from their USHL schedule as they were visited by the US National Team Development Program for a two-game exhibition.

Finley looked like one of the best players on the ice as he took on some of the top young players the US has to offer. The Capitols split the series, with Finley recording an assist in each game. Aside from distributing the puck, Finley had no issue putting the puck on net as well, totaling 12 shots-on-goal in the two games.

For a struggling Capitols team (6-12-1), Finley remains one of the team's few bright spots. Sitting second in team scoring with 23 points (8 goals, 15 assists), Finley also has the eighth most points in all the USHL.

Tristan Lennox, Saginaw Spirit, OHL (3rd Round, 2021)

The newest member of our weekly prospect report, Tritan Lennox, has played remarkably on an exceptionally talented Saginaw Spirit team.

Lennox's stellar play of late has been duly noted by the OHL as he was named Goaltender of the Month for November. Lennox posted a 6-1 record with a 1.86 GAA, .931 Sv%, and added one shutout.

Though his numbers last month were through the roof, it would still be great to see him improve on his overall number, as he is still posting a sub .900 SV% and is allowing over three goals a game. Even though three goals per game may seem high, in the high-flying OHL, it's not uncommon.

Saginaw currently leads the OHL's Western Conference in points with 38 (18-7-2) with Lennox being penciled in as the teams top goaltender.

Samuel Bolduc, Bridgeport Islanders, AHL (2nd Round, 2019)

We have mentioned in the last few weeks how Samuel Bolduc would likely be the first defenseman called into action from Bridgeport if an Islanders defenseman were to go down with an injury. With Adam Pelech going down with what looks to be a head injury against the St. Louis Blues, Bolduc may be finally getting his opportunity.

It will likely be between Bolduc and Robin Salo to fill Pelech's skates were he to miss any time. Depending on the direction Lou Lamoriello and Lane Lambert want to take will determine Bolduc's potential call-up. Salo would give them another puck-moving option, while Bolduc could replace the size and physicality Pelech provides.

Last week, Bolduc scored the only goal for the B-Isles in their 3-1 defeat to the Springfield Thunderbirds. The goal was Bolduc's fourth of the season as he continues to be the top producer on the blue line for Bridgeport.

Ruslan Iskhakov, Bridgeport Islanders, AHL (2nd Round, 2018)

It's been a rough stretch of late for Ruslan Iskhakov. The 22-year-old rookie only collected three points in November until the final day of the month, when he added another goal to his total. The goal may have sparked Iskhakov to return to his early season form as he also found the net in the team's next game, a 5-1 victory over the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins.

Iskhakov also added an assist to his weekly total giving him points in three consecutive games. Aside from the points, Iskhakov also posted a +5 rating and +8 on the season. Good enough for second-best on the team.

After a rocky second month in North America, Iskhakov is hopefully back to being the playmaker and point producer he was in October.

He now has 16 points (six goals, 11 assists) on the season.

William Dufour, Bridgeport Islanders, AHL (5th Round, 2020)

William Dufour continues to do what he does best, and that is put pucks on net. With 12 shots in three games last week, Dufour lit the lamp twice, both coming on the powerplay.

In the win against Wilkes Barre-Scranton, a dumped-in puck was fumbled at the top of the crease by the Penguins goalie as Dufour crashed the net and gathered the puck, making a nifty move to get the puck to his backhand along the goal line and sweeping the puck into the gaping cage.

Dufour seems to be finding his groove as the season progresses, currently sitting second on the B-Isles in scoring with eight, trailing only veteran Andy Andreoff (11).

Dufour's eight goals are good enough for fifth in the AHL rookie goal-scoring race trailing San Jose Sharks draft pick Thomas Bordeleau by only three.