New York Islanders have small but extremely talented group of prospects at Junior level

By Christian Litscher
Josh Ho-Sang - New York Islanders

Photo: Forward Josh Ho-Sang is one of four New York Islanders prospects who are currently playing Canadian major junior hockey. Ho-Sang was drafted in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

 

The junior prospects for the New York Islanders have had strong starts to the 2014-15 season. Many of the Islanders junior prospects recently turned pro, so there are only four prospects currently playing in the CHL.

The Islanders added two of their top offensive prospects at the 2014 NHL Draft in Michael Dal Colle and Josh Ho-SangViktor Crus Rydberg joins them as the Islanders current OHL prospects. Kyle Burroughs, a seventh round pick from 2013, is the lone WHL prospect. The Islanders do not possess any QMJHL prospects. They also do not currently have any prospects playing in at the junior-A level.

OHL

Michael Dal Colle, LW, Oshawa Generals
Acquired: 1st round (5th overall), 2014

Dal Colle is off to a great start to the season elevating his game from last year to become one of the top players in the OHL. He has been consistent with points in 11 of 13 games and has amassed a total of 23 points. He had a strong October with 15 points and already has had nine multipoint games. Dal Colle has been a major reason why the Generals currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings.

Dal Colle’s combination of size and skill has been difficult for defenders to contain. He has the ability to beat goaltenders with a quick release and the vision to set teammates up. Dal Colle is also a powerplay threat where his hockey sense and instincts take over.

The talented winger will represent the OHL for both games in the Subway Super Series against team Russia. He is also likely to represent Canada at the upcoming World Junior Championship. Dal Colle will continue to work on his play away from the puck and projects as a top line forward in the NHL who can rack up points in the right situation.

Josh Ho-Sang, RW, Windsor Spitfires
Acquired: 1st round (28th overall), 2014

Ho-Sang is off to a fast start to the season leading the Spitfires in points with 19 despite only playing 11 games because he was forced to miss the first six games of the season due to a suspension from the playoffs last year. He came out strong with two goals in his first game back and has racked up a ton of assists since.

Ho-Sang has the ability to dominate a game with his hands and offensive instincts, and he can take you out of your seat with his stick-handling ability. He has taken strides in his overall game every year, but still has some way to go in playing a team game. How he continues to mature will go a long way into whether he can cut it at the NHL level one day.

Like Dal Colle, Ho-Sang will represent the OHL at the Subway Super Series, although he will only play in one of the games. He will make a push for the Canadian World Junior team, but right now he is on the outside looking in. The first round pick has the potential to be a top line forward in the NHL if his game translates.

Viktor Crus Rydberg, C, Plymouth Whalers
Acquired: 5th round (136th overall), 2013

Crus Rydberg has rebounded well from a disappointing season last year. He has 12 points in 16 games after only 37 in 62 last year. He came out strong with four points on opening night and had a good October adding a goal and seven assists in 12 games. The fifth round pick had a similar start last season, so it will be important to keep his level of play moving forward.

Crus Rydberg is a playmaker who has good hockey sense. He has good vision and is a creative stick-handler. He struggles with his consistency at times and is not a natural goal scorer. Crus Rydberg will need to maintain his level of play to earn a contract or may be a candidate for an overage season next year.

WHL

Kyle Burroughs, D, Regina Pats
Acquired: 7th round (196th overall), 2013

Burroughs has been good to start the season with six points in 15 games and an impressive plus-12 rating. His production is down from last season, but the Pats as a team have started the year slow. Burroughs has shown some toughness having been in three fights already.

Although he is small by NHL standards, Burroughs can hold his own. He is solid in own zone using positioning and smarts to hold off opposing forwards. Offensively he is mobile and makes good decisions with the puck. Burroughs can contribute on the powerplay, although his shot is not much of a threat.

Burroughs is in his last season of junior hockey. Next year he will be eased into the professional game as the Islanders are deep on the right side of their defensive depth chart. He already has some experience, appearing in nine games with the Sound Tigers at the end of last season.

Other Notes

Alan Quine has gotten off to a fast start this season for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers with four goals and nine assists in 12 games. He had 27 points in 61 AHL games last season. Quine was a late bloomer at the OHL level, so there is hope he can keep up his scoring pace on an improved Sound Tigers team.

Griffin Reinhart started the season on Long Island, but got sent down after three games when the Islanders got players back from early season injuries. He has been great for Bridgeport with two goals and five assists in in nine games. Ryan Pulock has six points and has appeared in 12 games. Both players will have a chance to be full time NHL defensemen as soon as next season.

Taylor Cammarata is starting his sophomore season strong with 11 points in eight games. Devon Toews has also started his season with Quinnipiac on the right foot with six points in eight games. Both players look to be in line for a breakout season.

New York Islanders Prospect of the Month: October

Ryan Strome - New York IslandersRyan Strome has contributed offensively with the Islanders this season with 10 points in 15 games. He has primarily played wing and has shown great vision and skill. Coach Jack Capuano has mixed the forwards around frequently so Strome has seen time on different lines. Some games he has seen fourth line minutes, but could benefit from a sniper on his line to take advantage of his set up attempts. Although he has only averaged around 13 minutes a game, Strome has found ways to contribute. He seen powerplay time on the second unit, as well as an occasional shift on the penalty kill.