Three prospects to watch in Islanders camp
The New York Islanders’ prospects were on full display earlier this week in the home-and-home series against the Philadelphia Flyers. Barry Trotz went as far as to compliment some players individually, including Mason Jobst and Noah Dobson.
The Islanders made their first round of cuts to trim their roster down to 52 but some of the young kids are still around. At this point, Josh Ho-Sang and Michael Dal Colle are not “prospects” and will not be counted on this list.
The three prospects will all have a legitimate shot of making the team on what’s already a crowded roster. Unfortunately, Mason Jobst doesn’t have the skill to make the team and Kiefer Bellows isn’t there yet with his skating to have a realistic shot.
Noah Dobson – D
The player who has the most legitimate shot of making the roster is the young 19 year old Noah Dobson. Dobson comes off back-to-back Memorial Cup wins and is not eligible for the AHL due to coming from the Canadian Juniors system.
Due to a combination of his high skill level and circumstances, Dobson has a good shot to make the team. Dobson is poised on the back line, is a good puck mover (especially at such a young age) and moves with a fluidity that normally takes defensemen a few years to gain.
As Barry Trotz stated, Dobson wouldn’t benefit from another season of Juniors, as he’s dominated every step of the way and reached the peak of the league twice. In order for him to make the team, a trade may be on the way.
Oliver Wahlstrom was taken one spot before Noah Dobson in the 2018 NHL Draft. Wahlstrom went 11th, Dobson went 12th. Dobson thrived in Juniors while Wahlstrom struggled at Boston College.
Wahlstrom eventually left BC as the program didn’t work out for either side. Walhstrom came to Bridgeport to start his professional career and had five goals in ten games last season.
Wahlstrom is a good skater, has a wicked shot and looked much stronger in his game against the Flyers than he did at any point last season. The issue with Wahlstrom is that he plays right wing and the Islanders really only have an open spot at left wing.
However, as a right shot, he’s probably more suited to play left wing. Regardless, Wahlstrom has the skill set to make an impact on this year’s Islanders squad.
Probably the longest shot to make the Islanders, Otto Koivula has shot up exponentially as a prospect after being drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 NHL Draft.
Not much was expected of Koivula, but the big Finnish forward has made a huge impact so far during his time in Bridgeport. The forward has learned to play both center and wing, so he could fit in just about anywhere.
Unfortunately, Koivula isn’t as seasoned as some of the guys on the bubble, and if anything the Islanders are strongest at center depth-wise. Either way, Otto will push the management to make a very tough decision.