After finishing in the basement of the AHL standings over the past few seasons, the New York Islanders AHL affiliate has found success this year and currently sits third in the Atlantic Division. They have a 16-12-3 record due to solid goaltending and great depth, led offensively by a new face in Joe Whitney, who has been among the AHL scoring leaders all season long. Read more»
The New York Islanders prospect pool remains one of the stronger ones in the NHL. There are high-upside players and depth at every position. The Islanders have been able to stock the system with four first-round picks in the past two drafts. With these picks, they have taken four forwards: Michael Dal Colle, Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, and Anthony Beauvillier. They are all tremendously skilled and represent the next wave of forward prospects for the Islanders. Ryan Pulock was the team’s first-round pick in 2013, and is on the cusp of cracking the NHL lineup. Read more»
Still soaring from their Stanley Cup victory, Brian Burke and company sought to round out the Ducks’ organizational depth in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Their selections were concentrated in the middle of the draft as they owned four fourth-round selections in addition to their first, second, third and fifth-round picks. Despite having young forwards like Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, and Dustin Penner at the time, the Ducks went with four straight forwards to open the draft. They would select a fifth forward as well as two goaltenders and a defenseman.
The Anaheim Ducks own the rights to nine prospects competing in the NCAA, headlined by the Hobey Baker Award finalist Justin Schultz. Their investment at the college level seems shrewd to this point, with most of their prospects being later-round picks or free agents who have all shown relative promise to date.
Sami Vatanen headlines a group of European prospects that consist mostly of skilled players who are on the slight side. The Ducks may have to wait a while to harvest the talent they have been cultivating abroad as their players gain size and familiarity with the North American style of play.
Anaheim’s 2007 Stanley Cup victory came at a cost to Ducks organizational pipeline. With the focus on ‘winning now’, the team traded prospects and draft picks for additions that could immediately contribute. Now, three years later, Anaheim’s system is rebounding well. Although there is still a definite lack of top flight talent (thanks in part to strong on-ice results over the past five years, excluding last season), the organization boasts a number of intriguing prospects on the blue line, as well as a significant allotment of two-way forwards and depth between the pipes.