Friday, December 23, 2011

The Islander's Prospect Report (Part 2)

As we get to the second half of the New York Islander first half report; we really do need to clear up that what is going on with the prospects is not the fault of the Islanders.

Garth Snow and staff did not get Corey Trivino drunk, Trivino made that choice on his own. Andrey Pedan is innocent until OHL says otherwise.

Nor can the Islanders be held to blame for a team being ravaged by injuries. Matter of fact really other than the nonsense of Pedan and his penalties that any of the Islander picks were bad.

2010 Draft Class

Brock Nelson (1)- We detailed Nelson's season yesterday but Nelson is an example of things being beyond the Islander's control. The Islanders can't be blamed when players leave school early or back out of letter of intents as North Dakota has gone through.

In the case of Nelson though it has been a blessing as he has become the "man" for the North Dakota Fighting Sioux and speeding up his development. Hard not to like a guy who leads the NCAA in power play goals (9) and makes big play after big play.

Give him another season at North Dakota and then he will be ready for the Islanders.

Kirill Kabanov (3)- Kabanov had a coming out party during last season's QMJHL playoffs and this season as long as he stays healthy will get to play in the Memorial Cup. The question though is how to grade him out as talent wise he is first round material but as it has been told repeatedly he fell to the 3rd round.

13-13-26 in the QMJHL are decent numbers for a 3rd round pick but we think Kabanov should be doing more than he has. We like how Kabanov gets his Shawinigan Cataractes going with 5 first goals of the game but not how he finishes (only 1 game winner).

Maybe it is because of what we saw in the playoffs last year that has us expecting more and that is exactly what we want to see out of Kabanov in the 2nd half. The Cataractes may be the hosts of the Memorial Cup which gives them the automatic entry but nobody hosting it doesn't also want to win it.

Kabanov needs to elevate his game (1) to help his team and (2) to send him on his way to the NHL unless he wants to play another season in the QMJHL.

Jason Clark (3)- Is going to get a pass from us because we know from experience that asking a hockey player to return from single hip surgery is hard enough. Double hip surgery is something that takes almost a full year AFTER surgery before getting back to 100% and Clark had the surgery in July.

That Clark is playing is good enough for us right now but we want to see him make at least some small steps in the 2nd half. For starters this bouncing all over the lineup is not going to help Clark's game so find a spot and stick with it.

If for no other reason but confidence try to get a couple of goals before the end of the season (Clark has no points in 12 games). Get comfortable about playing again and come back for your junior season raring to go.

Cody Rosen (7)- Rosen is another we can't say much about but in his case it is because he has yet to see any action this season for Clarkson. Rosen we hope for his hockey career is redshirting this season because he is not going to see any playing time as long as Clarkson uses just 1 goalie.

See the difference between college hockey and the juniors is that if Rosen was not playing in the CHL then his team could send him down to Junior "A" or "B" so he could keep playing,

Given how easy it is for an Islander goalie to get injured then we will consider Rosen a prospect until something changes. You never know but to be honest goalies more than any other position need to play a ton and he is not playing at all.

2009 Draft Class

Anders Lee (6)- It took a while for a sophomore slump to catch up to Lee but it has as Lee enters the break with just 3 assists to show for his last 9 games. With Lee not finding the back of the net then his Notre Dame Fighting Irish are having trouble winning as well as they have gone 4-4-1 during the Lee goal drought.

Give Notre Dame credit as they have found a way to remain 2nd in the CCHA despite the team wide offensive struggles. Lee is going to need to regain his scoring touch for Notre Dame to be able to make it out of the CCHA let alone think about a NCAA invite.

We are sure Lee will get right back on track in the second half so 24 goals is not out of reach for him. Lee is too good and too big to be held in check for that long.

2008 Draft Class

Kirill Petrov (3) is another that sorry we do not track ourselves because of how hard it is to get reliable reports on his game. We will give you EliteProspects.Com skinny on him but it is just a 1 line report which is not a lot of help.

A big winger with the size and speed to match his excellent puck skills.


Our old friend Elroy caught us missing out on Ranger prospects Danny Hobbs, Oscar Lindberg and Mikhail Pashnin so thanks we think.

Danny Hobbs (7)- When the season started Hobbs was a prospect who quite honestly we did not understand how he worked his way back into the Ranger prospect picture. At mid-point we just can't see how Hobbs can be seen as a NHL prospect.

Hobbs got off to a good start with 5 points in his first 2 games but only 3 points in his last 11 games. Hobbs missed some time on and off with an ankle injury but that we can't use to give him a pass.

Hobbs might earn himself an ATO when UMass's season is over but a Ranger contract is something that we just do not see at all.

Oscar Lindberg (trade 2011)- Lindberg who the Rangers got in the Ethan Werek trade is a prospect who most expect to be a defensive specialist. He is only 20 so we hope the Rangers leave him over in Sweden for at least 3 years so he can mature physically and hopefully add more offense to his game.

Lindberg's stock right now is being affected by Andrew Yogan and Steven Fogarty and they are pushing the need for Lindberg down a notch or two. Fogarty is a 2 way center who is 3 inches bigger but has the offense we hear Lindberg is lacking.

Yogan also is taller but his offensive skills are good enough to overlook his defensive weaknesses. Let us revisit Lindberg down the road.

Mikhail Pashnin (2009 7th)- Signed a 2 year extension with CSKA- Moscow after letting the rumor mill stoke the flames of his coming over to sign with the Rangers. Turns out it was not the case and nobody has really said whether or not Pashnin ever was serious about signing with the Rangers.

Despite being just 6 ft, is strong defensively and plays a good physical game; his offense is lagging behind but the defense more than makes up for it.

Pashnin was the 2009 first overall pick in the KHL draft and many in Russia consider Pashnin as key to helping keep homegrown Russian players home and not coming over to the NHL. To be honest if we were Pashnin's agent then we would advise him not to even consider coming over to the NHL until he turns 25.

At that age then Pashnin does not have to sign a 2 way entry level contract but could demand (and get) a 1 way deal. Defensively if he stays on the path he is NHL material so check back in 2 years.

(Nelson- USA Hockey)

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