It has already been a busy offseason for New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow. Slotted with fifth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, Snow was faced with the tough decision of whether to give the Buffalo Sabres their 2014 first round pick or their 2015 first round pick as a result of the Thomas Vanek trade.
The New York Islanders, as an organization, took a step back in 2013-14 after making the playoffs last year. Although none of the Islanders professional prospects got to play in any playoff games, many of the organization's junior and European prospects gained valuable experience playing in the postseason this year.
Welcome to the April 2014 edition of On the Rush. With the postseason underway, this will be the final column for the 2013-14 season. As such, this edition will focus on prospects at various levels of competition who exceeded expectations or fell behind a bit over the course of the entire season.
New York Islanders GM Garth Snow has shown a tendency to use later round picks on players bound for the NCAA, giving them plenty of time to develop and work on any holes they have in their game. The Islanders have had some success with NCAA players recently drafting star Kyle Okposo as well as prospects such as Matt Donovan, Brock Nelson, or Anders Lee.
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.