The New York Islanders took a huge step forward this season making the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2006-07. After clinching the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, the Islanders took the high-powered Pittsburgh Penguins to a hard fought sixth game before being eliminated in the first round.
The New York Islanders have done a tremendous job of stockpiling a very deep and talented prospect pool. General Manager Garth Snow has learned to not rush his youngsters and to make sure they are one hundred percent ready before he calls upon them for full-time NHL duty. The next few years will be critical in the development of these young guns and will prove if they can play at the NHL level.
Due to the NHL lockout, anyone with a two-way contract was able to hone their skills at the AHL level in Bridgeport while they waited for the NHL to resume. This increased the overall level of play in the AHL, which has been good for the overall development of the New York Islanders' prospects.
The 2012 NHL Entry Draft proved to be very defensive for the New York Islanders as they shocked the hockey world by selecting a defensemen with each of their seven picks. The move gave them great depth on the blue line, where a team can never have enough bodies. In the previous two drafts they selected two high scoring forwards.