Getting To Know The New New York Islanders

As we all know, the New York Islanders have been a bit busy lately when it comes to personnel decisions. Over the last few weeks, we have seen some players come and some players go. Today, we’re looking at who’s come into the system.

The first acquired was Matt Mangene. The Islanders acquired the left winger from Philadelphia in a deal that saw long time Isles defender Andrew MacDonald leave town. Mangene, the Manorville, NY native, played his college hockey at the University of Maine. Although he went undrafted, the Flyers signed him to a two year entry level deal in 2012.

Mangene is a former defenseman who was shifted to winger while in the Flyers organization. At the time of the trade, the winger had three goals and six points in 51 games with the Adirondack Phantoms. Mangene grades out as bottom six forward and is currently playing for the Islanders American Hockey League affiliate in Bridgeport. (Photo credit: flikr/sarah_connors)

The next day, the Isles acquired Sebastian Collberg from Montreal in the much debated Thomas Vanek trade. A lot of Isles fans are down on Collberg, a bi-product of being included in the deal, but Collberg is an interesting prospect.

Collberg, who currently plays for Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League, is a high risk high reward prospect. Hockey’s Future has him rated with the same grade as high end Isles prospect Ryan Strome. While Collberg might have Strome’s upside, he might flounder as well.

Collberg is an elite skater with an excellent wrist shot. He only recently turned 20 and has been playing in the SEL for three years. He can be a top six forward in the NHL, but to be truly successful at the NHL level, he’s going to need to bulk up and work on his game at both ends of the rink. Collberg has serious “home run” potential as a prospect. Let’s hope he works out.

A week ago, New York signed high end college free agent Kevin Czuczman to two year entry level deal. Czuczman, pronounced “church-man,” who stands six feet three inches, was highly sought after by many teams. The Lake Superior State standout chose the Isles over many other teams because he works out with John Tavares, among other Islander players, in the offseason. Czuczman elevated his offensive game this year, scoring 21 points for LSSU.

Czuczman, who went undrafted, is considered a late bloomer by the Isles. In an interview with the Islanders, Czuczman described himself as a 2-way defender who plays physically in his own zone. The Islanders were also impressed with his mobility. A big, mobile defenseman? He’s exactly what the team needs.

Most recently, the Islanders signed Adam Pelech to a three year entry level contract. Although he was already a part of the Islanders’ system, now that he’s signed, it is time for some of you to get more familiar with the young defender. (Photo credit:

Pelech, who plays for the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, was drafted by the Islanders in the third round of the 2012 draft. Pelech is big defenseman with plenty of offensive skill. The 19 year old has 54 points in 59 games with Erie this season. Last season, Pelech recorded 40 points in 59 games.

Pelech represented Canada at the World Junior Championships this year. Look for Pelech to don a Bridgeport Sound Tiger sweater once his team finishes its Calder Cup chase.


-Donovan Brooks


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