This is actually a new installment that I’ve put in this year because a few have asked that I include the college players. While I have absolutely no problem doing this, I wanted to explain why I have not done so in the past. These college players are only drafted by the Islanders, and most of the time college players will not get contracts from the big club after their college careers are finished while junior players do receive entry-level contracts and then return to their respective junior clubs. Having written that, there are exceptions to this rule: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Scott Mayfield, Devon Toews and (for better or worse) Matt Donovan. So consider this a new and permanent installment from Isles Talk. Once again, this ranking is based off of how likely the players have in making the Sound Tigers/Islanders.
8. Collin Adams: LW 2016 6th round (170th overall)
Bio: 5’9″ 172lbs Age: 21
Team: Univ. of North Dakota
Stats: GP 58 G 7 A 8 Pts 15 +/- -15
My take: The Isles have a ton of left wingers in the system and his numbers do not justify getting a contract as of this writing. However, a strong finish in his college career and you could see him at Bridgeport’s training camp at the start of next season or the Worcester Railers.
7. Benjamin Mirageas: D 2017 3rd round (77th overall)
Bio: 6’1″ 180lbs Age: 20
Stats: GP 82 G 10 A 22 Pts 32 +/- -2
My take: Mirageas is a victim of the numbers game as there are many defenseman in the Isles system, along with Noah Dobson and Bode Wilde currently in juniors. He needs some time, but this is a luxury for both him and the Islanders. He’s coached by Nate Leaman, who has been interviewed for a few NHL head coaching positions so Mirageas is in good hands. I would expect Mirageas to be a part of the Sound Tigers when his college career is finished and at the very least a call-up to the NHL if/when he’s ready.
6. Nick Pastujov: LW 2016 7th Round (193rd overall)
Bio: 6’0″ 202lbs Age: 21
Stats: GP 100 G 16 A 42 Pts 58 +/- 5
My take: See above with Adams, another left winger, not enough room. Pastujov will finish his senior year this coming season and it’ll be a numbers game if the Isles decide to either give him an ELC or possibly Bridgeport signing him to a two-way deal so that he can get more minutes in Worcester. He’s above Mirageas because he’s essentially a year away from professional hockey.
5. Christian Krygier: D 2018 7th Round (196th overall)
Bio: 6’2″ 192lbs Age: 19
Team: Michigan State
Stats: GP 33 G 0 A 2 Pts 2 +/- -11
My Take: A steady stay-at-home defenseman who just turned 19 ten days ago (May 5th). He’s got the frame and decent size, he just needs the maturity of the college games and the Isles may have themselves a solid defenseman in a few years. His upside is a little higher than Mirageas at this point, but Krygier’s sophomore season will be important as the Isles will look to see how his overall game has progressed.
4. Jacob Pivonka: C 2018 4th round (103rd overall)
Bio: 5’11” 198lbs Age: 19
Team: Notre Dame
Stats: GP 40 G 2 A 8 Pts 10 =/- 1
My take: See Krygier above. Needs to have a bigger season and take control of his career. Good school, good program to do this in. Centers are hard to come by in this prospect pool, but he needs to show more.
3. Logan Cockerill W: 2017 7th round (201st overall)
Bio: 5’9″ 165lbs Age: 20
Team: Boston University
Stats: GP 74 G 12 A 19 Pts 31 +/- 8
My Take: Make or break year for Cockerill to show that he’s not just a bottom 6 role player for Team USA. He reminds me of Case Cizikas but he plays both wings, which is advantageous. Physically maturing will also go a long way as that may be the only thing holding him back from cracking an NHL lineup.
2. Ruslan Iskhakov C: 2018 2nd round (43rd overall)
Bio: 5’8″ 152lbs Age:18
Stats: GP: 32 G 6 A 15 Pts 21 +/- 1
My take: Lost in last years draft after Wahlstrom, Dobson and Wilde is the other 2nd round pick, Iskhakov. The potential to be the “under the radar” pick can also play wing and has lot’s of speed. I don’t want to compare him to Matt Barzal, but he comes close with time and some strength training. I do hope the Isles sign him to an ELC before the KHL does.
1. Oliver Wahlstrom is also in this ranking because he did play at Boston College and has decided not to play there next year. He does have his junior rights claimed by the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL and if the Islanders decide to send him there, then he switches out of this category. However, in my humble opinion, this would be a mistake for his development. Since Wahlstrom began his career in college, HE IS ALLOWED TO PLAY IN THE AHL FOR BRIDGEPORT NEXT SEASON. He already has the size and skill for the AHL and playing amongst kids again in the junior league may be a step back. At any rate he will not be in this category next year and since he already has an entry-level contract with the Isles, he gets the number one ranking.
Come back soon as I go over the professional prospects of Bridgeport and the Islanders and then we’ll send the graduates on their way, possibly over the weekend or Monday morning.
For the Juniors prospect report please go here: http://islestalk.com/2019/05/isles-talk-prospect-report/