Looking For Help From Within; Isles Call Up Joensuu

The New York Islanders called up Jesse Joensuu yesterday from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers since he was the team’s leading scorer with 11 points in 16 games played. This is his third stint with the club and it could be a determining factor on what the organization needs to do with him in regards to his development.

Joensuu was drafted 60th overall in the 2nd round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. The 209 pound, 6’4″ winger finished the 2010 season with 48 points in 70 games played with the Sound Tigers while scoring one goal in 11 games played with the Islanders. His NHL totals are 4 points (2 goals and 2 assists) in 18 games played.

Jesse brings size and skill to a line-up that is currently lacking both, but he is not known for throwing his body around as much as the coaching staff would like. And let’s face it, 11 points in 16 games in the AHL isn’t exactly something to start doing back flips over. But anything should be an improvement right now considering the lack of offensive production from this current Islanders roster. It is clear that Garth Snow is giving the players from within the organization a chance to step up and solve their problems and it is likely that he will play tonight when the Islanders host the Florida Panthers at Nassau Coliseum.

Joensuu has spent a decent amount of time learning the North American game and should be able to come into the line-up and provide a bit of a spark. If he doesn’t, the Islanders could send him back down to the minors and perhaps try a different forward, although there aren’t many other attractive options. Rhett Rakhshani has 12 points in 17 games played and Rob Hisey currently has 11 points in 12 games played. David Ullstrom has 10 points in 16 games played as well. As you can see, the offense isn’t exactly thriving in Bridgeport either. But sometimes a chance to shake things up in the big leagues is all it takes to get the ball rolling.

In order to make room for Joensuu, Jon Sim was sent back down to Bridgeport. Sim has one assist and is a -7 in 15 games played this year with the New York Islanders.

Also be sure to stop by The Checking Line (www.thecheckingline.com) tonight as I will be contributing to the live blog that George Prax will be hosting with updates from the press box at Nassau Coliseum; stop by tonight at 7 PM!

-Rob McGowan

Follow me on Twitter!