Welcome to the 2016 edition of “Top Shelf Prospects”. As we go through the Summer of 2016 I will be featuring a team-by-team look at the top prospects in the NHL. I will follow the order of the first round of the NHL draft (as if there were no trades). You can find all the articles here. Since we had an extensive NHL Draft preview, I will not be reviewing the players who were drafted this year. There have been no games since then, and my reports on them will not have changed.
What I will be doing is linking you to those articles, as well as taking a look at prospects that were acquired before this year’s draft; their progress, and their chances of making the 2016-17 roster. I will also bring you one sleeper pick – a player who was either drafted in the 4th-round or later; or an undrafted free agent signing who I pick as my darkhorse to make the NHL. The cut-off for what is or isn’t a prospect is typically about 50 NHL games played or being 25 years old. These are not hard or fast rules though, and I may make some exceptions depending on the circumstances.
TSP: New York Islanders Prospects
The New York Islanders made the playoffs again in 2016, finishing in the top wild-card spot. They also won a playoff series for the first time since 1993, defeating the Florida Panthers in six games. The Cinderella run would not continue though, as they fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round.
The off-season has seen a number of changes. Gone are long time Islanders staples Matt Martin, Frans Nielsen andKyle Okposo, who left as free agents. In is Andrew Ladd who signed a mega-deal on July 1st. They also brought backP.A. Parenteau.
Draft Picks: Kieffer Bellows, Anatoly Golyshev, Otto Koivula, Collin Adams, Nick Pastujov, David Quenneville
Graduates: Shane Prince