NY Islanders weekly prospect report AHL edition: Week of 12/5-12/11

New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
1 of 2

In a season where the Bridgeport Islanders have been coasting through the competition, last week was a genuine test of this team's mettle as they faced off against a pair of the top teams in the AHL. The young prospects of the NY Islanders would need to bring a bit more grit and grind to their game as the B-Isles hosted the Hershey Bears and had a home-and-home with the Providence Bruins.

With the first of their three games in less than 48 hours, the B-Isles played host to Hershey, falling 4-2 to the AHL's top team.

The team remained in Bridgeport as Providence traveled to Total Mortgage Arena for a Saturday night tilt with the Isles. Chris Terry opened the scoring for the B-Isles during the team's annual teddy bear toss, where hundreds of stuffed animals rained down on the ice after the opening goal. It was the highlight of the night for the team as they fell 3-2, starting the week 0-2.

A Sunday matinee in Providence saw the B-Isles get their first win of the week, defeating the Bruins 5-2. The team is up to 32 points (14-6-4-0) this season in 24 games.

Simon Hölmstrom remains on Long Island with the big club, but the B-Isles did get Aatu Räty back as he returned to the lineup after missing last week with an undisclosed illness.

Lets take a look at the week that was for Islanders top AHL prospects.

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

With Adam Pelech being injured against the St. Louis Blues last week, there was some thought that Samuel Bolduc could be called into action for his first taste of the NHL. For the time being, the Isles have decided to roll with Robin Salo as their sixth defenseman. As we await a timetable on Pelech, Bolduc will have to continue trying to force Lou Lamoriello's hand.

In a week where he really could have impressed the Isles brass, Bolduc was a bit underwhelming. Managing to get on the positive side of the scoresheet with an assist in the B-Isles home tilt with Providence, Bolduc also found the adverse side with a -1 rating in each game.

Typically known for his defense in previous years, Bolduc is now a -4 on the season, second worst for defensemen on the team, and fourth worst overall. Not something you'd typically like to see from a top-pair defenseman.

Bolduc will need to bring his defensive game back to par to match up with his offensive game, where he now has 20 points on the season (four goals, 16 assists). He currently sits third on the team in scoring.

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

After an abysmal November, Ruslan Iskhakov is once again finding his groove. The rookie center is finding the score sheet again, with two points last week.

Iskhakov opened the B-Isles scoring for the week just over a minute and a half into the teams game with Hershey. Terry retrieved the puck along the side wall, spinning and firing the puck to an onrushing Iskhakov at the B-Isles blue line. Iskhakov, one-on-one with the defender for three-quarters of the ice, used his speed to gain a step and unleashed his backhand to beat the goalie. It was a play that showed many of Iskhakov's best attributes at once.

Iskhakov would also add an assist in Bridgeport's loss to Providence bringing his point total to 19 (seven goals, 12 assists) this season.

Aatu Räty, Bridgeport Islanders, AHL (2nd Round, 2021)

After missing an entire week with an undisclosed illness, Aatu Räty returned to Bridgeport's lineup Saturday night as the team gave him one extra day's rest, sitting out the game against Hershey.

After taking a game to find his legs once again, Räty returned to the lineup with a bang, tallying a career-high three points in the B-Isles victory.

Räty got the goal-scoring started with his fifth of the season to give the B-Isles an early 1-0 lead. Two power-play play assists later in the period for Räty put the B-Isles on top again, 3-2.

Räty was close to completing the Gordie Howe hat-trick in the final minute of the second period after being whaled on by Bruins center John Beecher. With his gloves still on, Räty held on until teammate Kyle McLean quite literally jumped into the fracas to protect his teammate. McLean would be given a 10-minute misconduct for the incident with Räty going unscathed.

Räty's three points extend his total to 11 on the year (five goals, six assists).

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

Räty wasn't the only B-Isles rookie with a strong performance against the Bruins, as William Dufour added another goal and assist to his season total.

With under two minutes to play in the first and the B-Isles on the man advantage, Dufour rifled home a one-time shot on a cross-ice pass from Räty to break the deadlock and give the B-Isles a 3-2 edge.

Dufour remains the second-leading goal scorer in Bridgeport with nine goals through 24 games. Currently, on pace for 28 goals, Dufour is quickly becoming an intregal part of the B-Isles dynamic.

Following his healthy scratch a few weeks back, Dufour has responded in the way Head Coach Brent Thompson was hoping from his young winger.