Photo: HPK Hameenlinna goaltender and Nashville Predators prospect Juuse Saros turned in a stellar performance at the 2014 World Junior Championship, helping to lead Finland to their first gold medal at the U20 WJC since 1998 (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
No country has had as much success developing goaltenders in recent years as Finland.
But with 14 Finland-trained goalies playing in North America and another nine playing in Europe in either the KHL or in Sweden's SHL, the number of drafted prospects playing in Finland's Liiga has dwindled to just five.
Photo: New York Islanders prospect Ryan Strome has appeared in 19 NHL games so far in 2013-14, posting two goals and five assists in those outings (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
When the New York Islanders re-assigned rookie forward Ryan Strome to their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport before the NHL went on a two-week break for the Olympics, the message to Strome was pretty simple, at least how Strome relayed what he was told to the inquiring media in Philadelphia after the Sound Tigers win over the Adirondack Phantoms.
Photo: Ryan Strome celebrates his first NHL goal on January 6th, 2014. Strome has spent the majority of the 2013-14 season in the AHL, but should see more time in the NHL down the stretch. (courtesy of Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
The New York Islanders have amassed a very deep and talented prospect pool. Their patient approach over the last few years has created a solid foundation and should pay dividends down the road.
Photo: Selected first overall in the 2009 NHL Draft, center John Tavares has developed into one of the top offensive players in the NHL. (courtesy of Steven Ryan/Icon SMI)
The 2009 NHL Draft was a franchise altering one for the New York Islanders. They finished with an NHL worst 61 points, won the NHL Draft lottery, and earned the right to select first overall.
Photo: Undrafted forward Mike Halmo is having a strong year with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, where he has managed 12 goals, 12 assists, and 85 penalty minutes in 38 AHL games. (Courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
The New York Islanders have built an impressive pool of prospects at the professional level. The team has done fairly well at the NHL Draft over the past several years and has found a lot of good talent in the middle and later rounds.