With all the attention Ruslan Ikshakov, Aatu Räty, and Wiliam Dufour have generated, some of the other prospects get lost in the noise. Not too long ago, Samuel Bolduc was nearly a member of the NY Islanders' opening night roster for the 2020-21 season. Between the shortened schedule in the AHL due to the COVID pandemic and an injury that caused him to miss last year's training camp, Bolduc finally looks like he is back to 100% and returning to the form the Isles expected from their second-round pick in 2019.
Through only eight games this season with the Bridgeport Islanders, Bolduc has already surpassed his offensive totals for the entirety of the 2021-22 season (two goals, five assists). His 10 points (one goal, nine assists) are currently near the top of the AHL leaderboards. Bolducs' nine assists have him tied for fourth, and his six power-play assists lead the league among all AHL players.
Until this season, Bolduc was never the type of player you could turn to at the blue line to generate offense. During his rookie season with the then-Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Bolduc showed some promise finishing with 14 points in 24 games. Even in his days in the QMJHL with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and the Sherbrooke Phoenix, Bolduc was serviceable in the offensive end but never the powerhouse he is showing with his current form.
At 6'4" and 220 lbs., Bolduc fits the mold of an NHL defenseman. So far, the NY Islanders have shuffled between Robin Salo and Sebastian Aho as the team's sixth defenseman alongside Scott Mayfield. With neither taking the reigns and running with them, along with Salo being waivers exempt, it may not be too long before we see Lou Lamoriello giving Bolduc a chance to make his NHL debut.
Though it is only a small sample size, Bolduc is getting the attention of the Islanders' brass. Currently, he is riding a career-best six-game point streak and will look to increase that to seven when the B-Isles host the Hartford Wolfpack on Saturday.
Aside from his production in the offensive end, he still maintains his position as one of the team's best players in his own end and has played a large part in the B-Isles 6-1-1 start to the season.
Though the Islanders are currently playing well and on a four-game win streak, this type of consistency could leave the team no choice but to see what the 21-year-old has at the next level.