New York Islanders organization loaded up from the blueline back

By Christian Litscher

Photo: Ilya Sorokin's 1.06 goals-against average is the best among KHL goaltenders, while his .953 save percentage is second-best. (Courtesy of Sergei SavostyanovTASS via Getty Images)

Photo: Ilya Sorokin’s 1.06 goals-against average is the best among KHL goaltenders, while his .953 save percentage is second-best. (Courtesy of Sergei SavostyanovTASS via Getty Images)


10. (10) Mitchell Vande Sompel, D, 7.5 D
Drafted 3rd round (82nd overall), 2015

Vande Sompel has had a good season for the Oshawa Generals, with 31 points in 39 games. After missing the first two months of the season with an injury, Vande Sompel came out slow, but has found his game over the past few months. He has 24 points in last 25 games for a team that has struggled to score goals. He projects as an offensive defenseman who can quarterback the powerplay. He still needs to work on the defensive side of the game to reach the next level and is a few years away from making an impact.

9. (9) Ilya Sorokin, G, 7.5 D
Drafted 3rd round (78th overall), 2014

Sorokin has broken out this season in the KHL, establishing himself as a high-end goaltending prospect. He finished the KHL regular season first in goals against average letting in 1.06 goals per game and second in save percentage at .953. Sorokin carried his strong play into the playoffs, where he has a 0.99 goals against average and a .959 save percentage in four games. The 2014 third rounder is very athletic in net with quick reflexes and a knack for the big save. Sorokin will continue to develop in the KHL as he under contract for two more seasons. When he chooses to come to North America, Sorokin has the potential to be a starting goaltender.

8. (11) Parker Wotherspoon, D, 7.0 C
Drafted 4th round (112th overall), 2015

Wotherspoon has had a great season, breaking out offensively for the Tri-City Americans. He has 53 points in 60 games this season, putting him among the leaders in scoring from the backend in the WHL. What has been the most impressive about Wotherspoon’s season is his all-around play. He can be classified as a two-way defenseman as his strengths lie with his skating ability and his hockey sense. He has another year of development in the WHL before turning pro and projects as a depth defenseman who can do a little bit of everything.

7. (6) Scott Mayfield, D, 7.0 C
Drafted 2nd round (34th overall), 2011

Mayfield started the season in the AHL where he has built upon his previous two seasons as a strong and physical defenseman who plays with an edge. When injuries hit the Islanders blueline, Mayfield was called up to the big team. In his time up, Mayfield appeared in three games for the Islanders, often finding himself as a healthy scratch. The organization is bringing him along slowly, but Mayfield would be a welcome addition to the team’s defense corps with his size and physicality. His skating needs to continue to improve as he looks to make the roster next season.

6. (7) Adam Pelech, D, 7.0 C
Drafted 3rd round (65th overall), 2012

Like Mayfield, Pelech started the season in the AHL where he finished his season with six points in 24 games. His all-around game was impressive enough to earn a call-up to the Islanders on two separate occasions. He appeared in seven games and registered his first NHL point on January 14th against the New York Rangers. Unfortunately, Pelech went down with a season-ending injury just as he was starting to find his game. After gaining experience this season, he will look to make the team next season as a solid depth defenseman who plays well in his own zone.

5. (5) Josh Ho-Sang, RW, 8.0 D
Drafted 1st round (28th overall), 2014

Now in his last OHL season, Ho-Sang leads the Niagara IceDogs in scoring with 68 points. Ho-Sang has not exploded offensively like some thought he would when he entered the OHL but is still one of the league’s most dangerous offensive players. Next season will be a big year for Ho-Sang as he looks to turn pro. Ho-Sang has great hands and if his offense translates to the next level, then he has the potential to be a top-six forward. He will most likely spend some time in the AHL, before getting an NHL look.

4. (4) Anthony Beauvillier, LW, 7.5 C
Drafted 1st round (28th overall), 2015

The Islanders traded up to select Beauvillier in last June’s draft and it is looking like a shrewd move. The skilled forward has 60 points in 39 games, which is among the best in the QMJHL in points per game. His strong played allowed him to make Team Canada at the World Junior Championships. The Quebec native played well in a limited role and should be back to represent them again next season. Beauvillier skill set translates well to the NHL, and he is very well rounded to the point where he can play a variety of roles for the team. The 2015 first rounder is likely another season or two away from seeing NHL time.

3. (2) Ryan Pulock, D, 8.0 C
Drafted 1st round (15th overall), 2013

Ryan Pulock has had another strong season for the Sound Tigers. He leads the team in goals and points from the backend, with seven and 24 respectively. Pulock’s shot from the point is his most dangerous weapon, which has been reinforced by his four powerplay goals this season. His two-way game is starting to come together, which was a focus for Pulock this season to help him reach the next level. He will be looking to replace Marek Zidlicky in the lineup next season and projects as a top-pairing defenseman.

2. (1) Michael Dal Colle, LW, 8.0 C
Drafted 1st round (5th overall), 2014

Dal Colle started the season off slow but turned his season around after being traded to the Kingston Frontenacs at the OHL deadline. Since then, he has exploded for 22 goals and 44 points in 22 games. He has found chemistry with Los Angeles Kings draft pick Spencer Watson and the two of them have formed one of the best duos in the OHL. Now in his last season of junior, Dal Colle is gunning for his second straight Memorial Cup.

The skilled winger will turn pro next season, and will be looking to make the Islanders out of camp. An AHL stint may be in the cards, though, as it was with previous Islanders fifth overall pick Ryan Strome. Dal Colle projects as a top-six forward capable of scoring 30 goals.

1. (3) Mathew Barzal, C, 8.0 C
Drafted 1st round (16th overall), 2015

Barzal has had a tremendous season this year for the Seattle Thunderbirds. He has 75 points in 49 games, and sits third in the WHL in assists with 54. Barzal also had a strong performance for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships, with three points in five games. His vision and creativity are impressive, and they make Barzal dangerous every time he steps on the ice. He will be given a long look at training camp this fall, but with another season of junior eligibility, he will likely be back with Seattle come next season. The British Columbia native has elite offensive abilities and projects to be a top-six forward in the NHL.

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