Islanders Insight Top Shelf: The Future Is Bright Edition: 8/17/15

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Islanders’ fans were reminded of the depth the organization has when ESPN’s Corey Pronman released his Top 100 Prospects for the 2015-16 season. Six Islanders’ draft picks made the list and the article served as a nice tribute to Garth Snow and how he has handled the last two NHL Entry Drafts.

Center Mathew Barzal is the highest ranked Islanders prospect on the list at 13. Pronman seems pretty high on the 16th pick from this year’s draft:

:Barzal is an electric offensive talent whose puck skills, hockey IQ and agility all get very high grades. He makes unique plays happen, and when he has the puck Barzal seems to control the flow of the offense. He’s not an overly effective player in the physical game but he does decent in that area. He ended the season with an exclamation mark, dominating the World Under 18s.

According to elite prospects, Barzal alsoowns an excellent wrist shot with a remarkable release. Barzal reads the plays well, looking for interceptions and is not afraid to block shots, playing a reliable two-way game.”

The Boston Bruins had three picks immediately before the Islanders traded Griffin Reinhart to the Edmonton Oilers for their first round pick and landed Barzal at 16. If Barzal turns into an elite player not only will the Islanders reap the benefits, but Boston may look back at this year’s draft with some major regrets.

I know Barzal is highly touted,but I was surprised to see him ranked higher than the next Islander on the list.

Michael Dal Colle is behind Barzal,although not far, at 17. Dal Colle, the 5th overall pick in the 2014 draft is coming off a Memorial Cup Championship with the Oshawa Generals. A lot of fans are anxious to see him on the Islanders’ roster,but it would be surprising to see him break camp with the Islanders’ this year. Pronman points to Dal Colle’s bright future, but addresses some weaknesses in his game as well:

 :Dal Colle has always been known for his offense and he scores in bunches. He’s a very gifted puck-handler who makes creative, challenging offensive plays and has a big-time shot as well. Dal Colle’s combination of size and skill makes him very appealing. There are flaws in his game though — his speed is average and his defensive game could use some work.

 Elite prospects adds, “Dal Colle is a bull who uses his natural talents well. He’s got an imposing frame and already shows great balance and strength on his skates. He plays a two-way game, battles hard and displays quick hands for his size.”

Reports like this and the fact that Dal Colle could slide in at left wing next to Tavares has Islanders fans salivating. When the Islanders made their dynasty run you had a ridiculous left wing combination of Gillies, Tonelli and Bourne. Since then you’ve had Derek King. You can understand why everyone is a little anxious for Dal Colle’s arrival.

 Josh Ho-Sang comes in at 45 on Pronman’s list.The 28th overall pick from the 2014 draft who is coming off two consecutive 80 point seasons in the OHL gets mixed reviews in Pronman’s piece:

 :He is very creative offensively and a great playmaker, his skating and puck skills are truly elite and he makes special offensive plays look normal. However, his decision-making is often an issue, forcing plays and trying to do too much, on top of being problematic off the puck. While some could make the case that he’s a truly top-end prospect, others think he’s simply above-average.

Elite prospects adds, “Ho-Sang often turns heads with his ability to handle the puck with ease in the offensive zone. He has speed and great offensive instincts but needs to work on his game outside of the offensive zone.”

A lot of reports still have Ho-Sang listed anywhere between 165 and 170 pounds so he still has some filling out to do. Regardless, he’s still 19 years old and it’s pretty special just to see him this high on any prospect list.

Defenseman Ryan Pulock, the player who has the best chance of breaking camp with the team, lands at 65 on the list. Pulock was the 15th overall pick in the 2015 draft and the hard shooting defenseman would be an immediate goal scoring threat from the point if he cracks the opening night roster. Pronman adds:

 I don’t think I’ve ever been truly “wowed” by a Pulock performance, but he has a lot going for him. His offensive hockey sense is high-end, and his shot is one of if not the best outside the NHL right now. His defense continues to be problematic, and while he’s not a slow skater, an extra gear would be nice. Overall, he’s a prospect who is trending up, and his first pro season was very impressive.

Insight’s Andy Graziano had a chance to talk with Pulock about the upcoming season and more last week. For a unique look at the Isles’ prospect take a look at the interview here.

Forward Anthony Beauvillier, the 28th Overall pick in 2015 Draft comes in at 66. Snow traded his 33rd and 72nd pick to land the late first round selection. Pronman points to his youth so Isles fans will have to wait awhile before they see Beauvilier donning the blue and orange:

:I don’t think his pure talent blows you away at first glance, but he does a lot well and has great hockey sense. His speed, hands, shot and work ethic all grade as above-average. Beauvillier’s performance was tremendous for an under-18 player, and that’s not even considering he was one of the younger top prospects in his draft class, indicating more potential improvement once he catches up physically.

The next prospect is Dal Colle’s teammate, Mitch Vande Sompel at 79. The defenseman was selected 82nd in 2015 and is already looking like he has the potential to be a real steal:

(He) is a rare member of the utility-man club as someone who can play either forward or defense at a very high level. He is small, but skates and thinks the game very well. Despite his size, he’s shown he can be a great defensive player at either position. Vande Sompel’s offense is his calling card, though.

When you consider young names like Tavares, Strome, Okposo, Lee and Leddy are already on the Islanders roster, it’s difficult not to get excited about what the future holds for this Islanders organization.

Training camp can’t come soon enough.

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(TH @tommyhendo)

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