When a hockey fan looks at the New York Islanders NHL roster they see a lot of young talent. But something all die-hard hockey fans must realize is the Islanders are stacked with high-end budding prospects. Mathew Barzal, Michael Dal Colle and Josh Ho-Sang lead the way in the Islanders vaunted prospect pipeline. So the question is, which Islanders prospects are coming to Brooklyn?
Garth Snow the general manager of the Islanders since July of 2006 went into the 2015 NHL Draft without a first round draft pick. After the first round was concluded Snow walked away with two selections (Griffin Reinhart trade) including Barzal at 16th overall. Barzal seemed like a sure-fire top ten pick but for whatever reason slipped in the draft. Snow did not hesitate.
Barzal is a high-end play making center who is a tremendous skater and has a strong hockey IQ. The British Columbia native has flourished playing for the Seattle Thunderbirds the last three years. This past season Barzal had 27 goals and 88 points in 58 games for Seattle.
Barzal entered Islanders training camp last year without anyone thinking he would have any chance to make the opening night roster. But the then eighteen year old was literally one of the final cuts for New York. Barzal impressed the Islanders top brass and coaching staff. If New York had an injury or two Barzal could have seen a few games with the big club last year.
Barzal will enter the Islanders 2016 camp with a good chance at least to receive a nine game tryout to see if he is indeed ready for the NHL. Next year Barzal will either be with the Islanders or it will be back to Seattle and the WHL for one more season.
Michael Dal Colle
Not many good things happened for the Islanders during the 2013-14 season. The biggest bright spot was New York selected Dal Colle with the fifth overall pick at the 2014 NHL Draft. Dal Colle has shown in his two years in junior hockey since he has been drafted that he is a goal scoring winger who has intangibles and leadership skills off the charts. The Ontario native could hook up with a fellow Ontarian John Tavares and be his wing-man for many years to come.
Dal Colle did not have as good of a year last season in the OHL as he did the year before. In the 2014-15 season Dal Colle was part of the Oshawa Generals that won the Memorial Cup. This past season Dal Colle was traded from Oshawa to the Kingston Frontenacs. Dal Colle still scored 35 goals and had 80 points in 60 games this past season.
With Dal Colle’s junior career now over he will either start next season with the Islanders or their AHL affiliate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. It was Dal Colle who should have been pushing for a roster spot last season and not Barzal. There could be some openings on the Islanders roster at the forward position depending upon what they do this off-season. Is Dal Colle in the opening night lineup for the Islanders or the Sound Tigers?
My #Isles offseason predictions:
Hamonic decides to stay, Nielsen re-signs, Okposo goes, Dal Colle makes the team and replaces him.
— Daniel Friedman (@DanJFriedman) May 10, 2016
There is a lot to talk about when it comes to Josh Ho-Sang. He has huge offensive skill and game breaking potential. However at times his play has been called selfish and his attitude and maturity level has been brought into question. This was on display the first day of training camp for the Islanders this past year when Ho-Sang over slept and missed the first day of practice. Ho-Sang blamed a faulty alarm clock. New York would have none of it and he was immediate sent back to his junior team.
Ho-Sang was also a first round pick by the Islanders (28th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft. This past year for the Niagara Ice Dogs the Ontario native had 19 goals and 82 points in 66 games.
Like Dal Colle, Ho-Sang will either start the year with the Islanders or head to the AHL. Odds are this dynamic forward will spend next year with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
There is an awful lot to be excited about for Islanders fans. Three talented kids with big offensive talent are coming soon to Brooklyn.
I am a Long Island – New York City guy. I have been writing about Hockey and Baseball for almost 10 years now on the web. I am also part of the Vegas Hockey Podcast, which is now part of “The Hockey Writers” podcast network. I have been an Islanders fans since the early 80’s. My goal is to bring insightful articles to everyone out there on the Islanders.