The New York Islanders retooled a barren prospect pipeline with an active offseason and some excellent draft picks.
Ilya Sorokin (27), Oliver Wahlstrom (29) and Noah Dobson (38) all rank in the top-50. The Islanders are second in the Metropolitan Division, behind only the Philadelphia Flyers.
The revised rankings come after an active offseason. In his first draft with the Islanders, Lou Lamoriello retooled a barren farm system with two first and second-round picks.
Last season, Mathew Barzal and Ryan Pulock both graduated to the professional ranks. The Islanders didn’t own a first-round pick in 2017, after making five first-round picks in the previous three drafts.
Sorokin, 22, is a 6-foot-2, 176-pound netminder from Russia. He was ranked second on our Islanders prospect rankings last month, as a result of his great athleticism and dogged determination to never give up on a play. He has enough talent to recover from any mishap.
“Being the top-paid player on his KHL team, let alone their full-time starting goalie, is the biggest hurdle facing the Islanders in their attempts to lure Sorokin to the NHL,” writes Kournianos.
“With goalie whisperer Mitch Korn on board, there’s no reason to think Sorokin isn’t destined for success after he decides to cross the pond.”
Wahlstrom, 18, is a 6-foot-1, 207-pound winger from Maine. He was drafted with the 11th pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and was immediately slotted at number three on our Islanders prospect rankings.
“Sniping power winger whose spike in production alongside an elite playmaker like 2019 draft prospect Jack Hughes makes him an easy choice to flank Mathew Barzal for the next decade and beyond,” writes Kournianos.
Dobson, 18, is a 6-foot-3, 176-pound defenseman from Prince Edward Island. He was drafted right after Wahlstrom and was pegged as the Islanders’ sixth-best prospect on our annual rankings list.
“Carrying the defense corps of a Memorial Cup champion wasn’t enough to get this smothering puck mover drafted in the top 10,” writes Kournianos.
“But Dobson is exactly what the Islanders needed, albeit a few years from him having a profound impact on how well they defend as a team.”
Kieffer Bellows, who was ranked as the top prospect in the organization by Elite Sports NY, was notably omitted from the top-50. Bellows, 20, is a 6-foot, 198-pound center who is expected to compete for a roster spot next month.