Top prospects for New York Islanders

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NHL.com is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 31 teams from Nov. 16-Dec. 16. Today, the top five prospects for the New York Islanders, according to NHL.com.

 

[Islanders 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Behind the Numbers | Fantasy breakdown]

 

1. Noah Dobson, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 12 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: New York: 34 GP, 1-6-7

Dobson (6-foot-4, 184 pounds) spent last season with the Islanders but retains prospect eligibility having played fewer than 40 NHL games. The 20-year-old played in New York’s last game of the season, a 2-1 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final on Sept. 17, and is primed for a bigger role following the departures of defensemen Devon Toews (traded to the Colorado Avalanche) and Johnny Boychuk (eye injury).

“I think it’s definitely been an unorthodox year, but I think looking back at it and down the road, it’s going to be beneficial,” Dobson said in April. “I’ll be able to take a lot of things I learned this year into my future and hopefully make a great career out of it.”

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

2. Ilya Sorokin, G

How acquired: Selected with No. 78 pick in 2014 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: CSKA Moscow (KHL): 40 GP, 26-10-3, 1.50 GAA, .935 save percentage, nine shutouts

One of the better goalies in the Kontinental Hockey League the past five seasons, Sorokin (6-2, 167) is expected to form a tandem with Semyon Varlamov after the 25-year-old agreed to a one-year contract July 14 and accompanied the Islanders to Toronto and Edmonton during the postseason. His 16 shutouts are the most in KHL playoff history.

“Certainly, it was a tremendous opportunity for him to integrate with the players,” Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said in September. “He was taking English lessons daily. We were pleased with what we saw in practice each and every day. But we’re excited to have him under contract. I believe he’s excited to be an Islander from every indication that I’ve gotten from him and the coaching staff and also the players.”

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: 31 in 31: New York Islanders 2020-21 season preview

 

3. Oliver Wahlstrom, F

How acquired: Selected with No. 11 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: New York: 9 GP, 0-0-0; Bridgeport (AHL): 45 GP, 10-12-22

Wahlstrom (6-2, 211) made his professional debut last season, including nine games with the Islanders from Oct. 14-Nov. 7. The 20-year-old will receive every opportunity to make the NHL roster out of training camp, especially if New York does not re-sign unrestricted free agent forward Derick Brassard.

“I learned a lot when I was up there,” Wahlstrom told the Islanders website. “It was really healthy for me to go through that and learn firsthand from all of those guys.”

Wahlstrom is on loan to AIK in Sweden.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

4. Simon Holmstrom, F

How acquired: Selected with No. 23 pick in 2019 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: Bridgeport (AHL): 46 GP, 8-7-15

Holmstrom (6-1, 183) played in North America last season and did not look out of place. The 19-year-old was invited to attend selection camp with Sweden for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship and is expected to make a bigger impact in a top-six role for Bridgeport of the American Hockey League this season.

“First and foremost, he’s a great kid,” Bridgeport coach Brent Thompson told its website. “He’s a likeable guy who wants to learn and wants to get better. Overall, you see some really positive things as far as his vision. … He makes those subtle little passes that a lot of people probably don’t notice, but our team and our staff notice all the time.”

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

5. Kieffer Bellows, F

How acquired: Selected with No. 19 pick in 2016 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: New York: 8 GP, 2-1-3; Bridgeport (AHL): 52 GP, 22-9-31

Bellows (6-1, 195) scored his first NHL goal Feb. 6 but struggled with turnovers and played most of the season for Bridgeport. The 22-year-old participated in Islanders training camp during the NHL Return to Play Plan but was not on the postseason roster.

The AHL announced in October that Bellows violated the terms of the AHL/PHPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program, but all applicable discipline has been issued and satisfied, and there are no current or further limitations or restrictions on his ability to play.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

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