Islanders European prospects 2009-10 review

By Omair Taher

Forwards


Kirill Petrov, RW

3rd round, 73rd overall, 2008
Although Petrov had an impressive performance in the 2010 World Juniors, captaining the Russian squad and recording a team-high four goals and six assists in six games, it didn’t do much to raise his stock back home. The right winger remains with Ak Bars Kazan’s farm team, Neftyanik Almetyevsk of the Russian Premier League, after being demoted earlier this season. Fed up with the lack of playing time he was receiving, he already considered making a mid-season move to North America this year, so it appears likely that he will sign with the Islanders this summer. He will turn 20 in April.

David Ullstrom, C

4th round, 102nd overall, 2008
Standing at 6’3, 198 lbs, Ullstrom is a big center who is very quick for his size. Combined with his puck handling skills, he excels at leading cross-ice rushes. However, he doesn’t have a pass-first mentality. Though he’s a sound playmaker, he also possesses a sneaky wrist shot that he doesn’t shy away from using, which is also why he’s occasionally used on the wing. Currently with HV71 of the SEL, he had five goals and 11 assists in 47 regular-season games, but has yet to record a point in the playoffs. While he has a ton of offensive potential, his defensive game could use some work. The Islanders will have to wait a year before they can sign him as he is under contract through the 2011 season. Ullstrom will be 21 in April.

Kim Johansson, C

5th round, 141st overall, 2006
In 37 games with IK Pantern of the Swedish Division 1 league this season, Johansson recorded seven goals and 20 assists. The 6’2, 194 lb center plays a sound game in his own zone, is an excellent penalty killer, and has a decent set of offensive tools. If the 22-year-old does ever make it to North America, he could potentially develop into a third or fourth-line center and PK specialist similar to fellow Swede Sammy Pahlsson or current Islander Richard Park. But with a handful of Islanders prospects expected to turn pro this summer, there might not be any room for Johansson.

Defensemen

Emil Axelsson
7th round, 210th overall, 2004
Axelsson recorded just two points in 44 games this season with Örebro of Allsvenskan, the second tier Swedish hockey league. Standing at 6’3, 223 lb, he is a typical stay-at-home defenseman who plays a physical game and uses his large frame to keep the front of his net clear. He doesn’t have much offensive upside and isn’t a very good skater. It doesn’t appear likely that he will make it to North America anytime soon.

Goalies


Anders Nilsson

3rd round, 62nd overall, 2009
Nilsson had a steady season with Luleå HF of the SEL. The massive 6’5, 220 lb goaltender played in 27 games, sharing goaltending duties with Mattias Modig (ANA), and recording a 2.65 goals against average, and .897 save percentage. The 20-year-old has one more year remaining on his contract. He’s getting a decent amount of playing time in a professional league, and with Modig likely headed to North American, he might have the opportunity to be the No. 1 goalie for Luleå next season. Playing in Sweden shouldn’t put a damper on his overall progress.

Stefan Ridderwall

6th round, 173rd overall, 2006
In his second full season with Djurgården of the SEL, Ridderwall has primarily served as a backup. In 26 games, he posted a 2.30 goals against average and .917 save percentage. Standing at 6’2, 201 lbs, he’s fairly average sized, but does cover a lot of net. Unlike the Islanders other goalie prospects, he plays more of a hybrid style than butterfly. The 22-year-old has very quick legs and rarely leaves the lower parts of the net exposed when moving laterally. He will be a free agent at the end of this season, so there is a chance the Islanders will extend a contract offer his way.