Welcome back to my 31 in 31 top ten prospect series.
Last time, we took a look at the New Jersey Devils’ farm system, highlighted with some top end rookies such as Ty Smith, Michael McLeod, and Jesper Boqvist. Today, we’re going to continue our tour of the New York area and take a trip to check out the New York Islanders’ farm system. Without further ado, let’s dive in and have a look.
1. Noah Dobson (D, 1st Round, 12th Overall in 2018)
A projected top-ten pick, Dobson slid to 12th where the New York Islanders were more than happy to capitalize with the first of two first rounders. Initially, it looked like an absolute steal, seeing that Dobson was over a point per game player, stood tall at 6’3 and shot right. This year, however, he’s taken a step back for whatever reason. He’s scoring at half the pace he was last season with 16 points in 28 games so far this year, and he’s a whopping -33 in comparison to his +33 from last season. Whether you like the plus/minus stat or not, it’s still a big difference from last season. There’s still time for Dobson to turn it around, however, and I still consider him their top prospect despite early struggles.
2. Oliver Wahlstrom (LW, 1st Round, 11th Overall in 2018)
Before the NHL draft was even a thought, Wahlstrom went viral for his spin-o-rama goal in a penalty shot contest before a Boston Bruins game in 2009. He didn’t stop producing, and he earned a spot at 11th overall for the New York Islanders to select him at. Like Dobson, though, he’s experiencing some early-season struggles. He currently only has five points in his first 14 games with Boston College, but again, he’s still young and his draft position and skillset without a doubt secures him at second overall on my list.
3. Ilya Sorokin (G, 3rd Round, 78th Overall in 2014)
If Sorokin was in North America right now, there’s a chance he wouldn’t even be on this list because he probably would have already been in the NHL. The New York Islanders drafted Sorokin in 2014 and since then he’s been putting up numbers that are plain filthy. There’s nothing else to it. In 25 games this season, he has a record of 17-4-3 with a goals against average of 1.25 and a save percentage of .939. He’s been in the KHL for eight seasons now, ever since he was 17 years old, and in each of his last five seasons he’s put up a GAA of under 2.00. His agent has declared that he won’t be in the NHL until his KHL contract expires, but needless to say there will be tons of hype surrounding him when he eventually makes his way over.
4. Bode Wilde (D, 2nd Round, 41st Overall in 2018)
Bode Wilde is a high risk prospect with a very high reward if he can figure things out. He has all the tools to be a very good defenseman at the NHL level. He’s a 6’4 right handed defenseman who so far has registered 33 points in 27 games. But apparently he has a lack of hockey sense and didn’t impress in interviews at the combine, and on top of that he de-committed from Michigan State University and opted to play for the Saginaw Spirit instead, likely resulting in him not getting an invite to World Junior camp for the United States. If he can work on his game and fix his issues, he will be a dangerous defenseman at the NHL level.
5. Kieffer Bellows (LW, 1st Round, 19th Overall in 2016)
Since being drafted, Bellows has tried his hand in three different leagues. He played in the NCAA in his post draft year, then played in the WHL last season, and this year he’s made it to the pros and he’s playing for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL. The 6’0 power forward has 12 points in 32 games thus far.
6. Josh Ho-Sang (RW, 1st Round, 28th Overall in 2014)
Ho-Sang has all of the tools to be a very good talent at the NHL level. But once again, he has attitude problems and hasn’t been able to maintain a spot in the bigs. He has put up 22 points in 26 games thus far and just got a call-up to the NHL once again, having put up one goal in four games so far.
7. Sebastian Aho (D, 5th Round, 139th Overall in 2017)
Not to be confused with Carolina Hurricanes star forward Sebastian Aho, the New York Islanders prospect is Swedish and is a left handed defenseman. He’s currently playing in his second season in the Islanders organization after spending his entire career in Sweden, and currently has 23 points in 29 games. The 5’10 LHD is a great puck mover and could use that to his advantage at the NHL level.
8. Devon Toews (D, 4th Round, 108th Overall in 2014)
Toews was drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 NHL draft and while his development has gone slowly, he’s been getting better every year and has a surefire chance to become a regular defenseman with the New York Islanders. Toews just received his first NHL call-up after a very good start with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, putting up 19 points in 24 games. The 6’1 defenseman will look to turn his call-up into a mainstay with the team.
9. Linus Soderstrom (G, 4th Round, 95th Overall)
Soderstrom is coming off of a pair of very good seasons overseas with HV71 Jonkoping of the SHL, but has unfortunately been forced to sit out the entire 2018-19 season thus far due to an injury that he’s been recovering from in Sweden. Once he heals up, he will likely suit up for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL. He put up a record of 8-6-0 last year with a goals against average of .894 and a save percentage of 2.79.
10. Mitch Vande Sompel (D, 3rd Round, 85th Overall in 2015)
Vande Sompel finished the 2014-15 season with 65 in 63 OHL games and he was picked in the third round. That just goes to show you how deep the draft was that year. He’s been working on his game every season and is currently in his second year with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, having put up 14 points in 30 games so far. He will likely finish off the season in the AHL and continue to hone his skills there.
Thanks for reading! Tune in next time where we will continue our tour of the New York area by checking out the New York Rangers farm system.
stats from eliteprospects.com
featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals