Isles Talk Prospect Report: Professionals

The third installment of this years prospect report are the Isles-drafted players currently playing in their entry-level contract. Making it this far after juniors or college is a big step, but to make it to the big show may take a few years for some and the players or they are still trying to find their niche in the professional leagues, so this is why I consider entry-level players as prospects. So let’s check out my top 7 professional prospects, who are again ranked according to how quickly they are to being called up to the New York Islanders.

7. David Quenneville D
Year of ELC: 1st
Team: Worcester Railers
Stats: 55 GP 5 G 16 A 21 Pts +/- -8

My Take: With the plethora of defenseman on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, it made sense for Quenneville to spend a year in Worcester. The numbers are decent for the offensive defenseman and the -8 should not come to a surprise. The Worcester Railers had a decent record, but finished last in the division and last in goals scored while the defense was right in the middle. I would like to see Quenneville split some time between the ECHL and AHL if the opportunity arises.

6. Kieffer Bellows LW
Year of ELC: 1st
Team: Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Stats: 73 GP 12 G 7 A 19 Pts +/- 20

My Take: A wake-up call for Bellows this season, filled with a lot of growing pains. He looked good during the first half of the season and then struggled to rack up points during the second. However, I did see some improvement on his play without the puck. A good off-season of maturing and with the additions of a few more talented prospects, and you’ll get improved numbers from Bellows next year. Do not count him out, but could the Isles think about trading him in a packaged deal? I have to concede that question, but we’ll find out around draft day.

5. Mitch Vande Sompel: D
Year of ELC: 2nd
Team: Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Stats: 133 GP 17 G 43 A 60 Pts +/- -6

My Take: Vande Sompel had 31 points in 70 games in his first season and 29 points in 58 games this season. A healthy Vande Sompel could get him 40 points next season. Would I feel comfortable bringing him up for a cup of coffee? Yes and I think that’s where he is at the start of the season. If not, I would expect the 2018 AHL All star to have a career year in Bridgeport.

4. Parker Wotherspoon: D
Year of ELC: 2nd
Team: Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Stats: 131 GP 13 G 28 A 41 Pts +/- +9

My Take: Wotherspoon edges out Vande Sompel simply because of need and who’s ahead of both of them. I like Parker’s all-around game and it’s now coming together. If the Isles are looking for a call-up to play a steady, keep it simple defensive game, Wotherspoon is the choice and he can bring the puck up very well. Could be an AHL All-Star this year if he continues to improve.

3. Otto Koivula: C/LW
Year of ELC: 1st
Team: Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Stats: 74 GP 21 G 27 A 48 Pts +/- +14

My Take: Koivula came to North America, quickly adapted to the game and became the biggest surprise in this years rankings. He could see time with the Islanders next year should injuries come up and if the Sound Tigers collect more scoring from up and coming prospects, you should see Koivula’s game evolve even more.

2. Sebastian Aho: D
Year of ELC: 2nd
Team: Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Stats: 112 GP 18 G 59 A 77 Pts +/- +4

My Take: Unless the Islanders go with a veteran for the 7th or extra defenseman, I believe it’s Aho’s for the taking. The 2019 (and 2018) AHL All-Star was called up to play for the Isles a year ago and has the most seasoning of any Bridgeport prospect. More time physically maturing will also help him get through the grinds of an NHL season. I believe Aho will be a call-up this year.

1. Matt Barzal C
Year of ELC: 2nd
Team: New York Islanders
Stats: 174 GP 42 G 112 A 154 Pts +/- -6

My Take: Why is Matt Barzal in this piece? Because he is still in his entry-level contract and people need to be reminded that he turns 21 next week. There are still parts of his game he needs to work on (faceoffs the most glaring need) and at some point fans will discover whether or not his niche with the Islanders will be that of a first or second line center. He’s learning, he’s growing and he will get better. To me, all the characteristics of a young prospect.

I would like to finish up my Islanders prospect report by going over the graduates by Tuesday. On Wednesday, look for an Isles Talk Live Cast on Facebook to go over the final rankings of all the mentioned prospects and then I’ll be diving into the 2019 draft shortly after that.

For the Junior Prospect Rankings, please go here:

Isles Talk Prospect Report: Juniors

For the new College Prospect Rankings, please go here:

Isles Talk Prospect Report: College

PK

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