The Islanders might not have signed any additional forwards (aside from Kirill Petrov) this off-season, but there is certainly going to be a log jam at that position as the organization prepares for training camp.
You have your obvious two on the top line between Kyle Okposo and John Tavares. The third member of that line remains to be seen, a problem that has lingered since last season and must be remedied this year.
The New York Islanders appear to be more or less set for the start of training camp, and their roster will almost look identical to last year’s Islanders squad that began the 2014-2015 season. With some of their division rivals having made some big changes this off-season, it’s hard to predict where the Islanders will finish in the Metropolitan Division this upcoming year.
The Isles signed Thomas Greiss to a two-year contract to back up Jaroslav Halak. Aside from signing prospect Kirill Petrov to a one-year deal (hey, remember him?), the Islanders were quiet on the free agent front.
Ullstrom is most effective when he's skating hard and working the forecheck to create turnovers. When he is on, he's also a pest and easily gets under the skin of opponents, all the while playing a clean game.
When Ullstrom is doing these little things, that's when he is creating his best offense. Forcing turnovers and converting them to offense is the hallmark of the young Swede.
With this edition of the prospect report I will continue my count down of the top 15 prospects in the Islanders system from this past season. If haven’t read the first part of the countdown then click here and catch yourself up.
#10 Mikko Koskinen – Goalie, KalPa (Swedish Elite) 6’-6” 202lbs
Mikko is the first and only goaltender to make this list as Kevin Poulin and Andres Nilsson played their season in the AHL. Koskinen spent his season in the Swedish Elite league in order to avoid a three headed goalie monster at Bridgeport. Playing for KalPa this season, Mikko appeared in 25 games posting a GAA of 2.30 and a save percentage of .916. Koskinen also played in 6 games during the opening round of the playoffs in which KalPa was eliminated.
With this edition of the prospect report I will revisit a pervious article of mine on the two prospects of the Islanders from Russia. This will just give a better update of where their seasons have gone since the last time we spoke about them. The original article can be found here.
Kirill Petrov is continuing his solid season in the KHL with 50 games played, Petrov has amassed 16 goals and 12 assists. This has been a good solid pace for Petrov since the last time we spoke about him and I am pleased that he is still playing well. I still expect Petrov to come to the United States next season and start in Bridgeport. He will most likely need some time there to adjust to the smaller North American ice surface and style of play. If he is able to adjust correctly he will be a nice addition to the Islanders in the future and possibly a good call up next season if the injury bug bites. (Photo Credit: Islanders Hockey Blog/Flickr)
In a 1992 article for The New Yorker, the gifted writer Alec Wilkenson quoted an unnamed goaltender as saying “What other job do you now of where, when you make a mistake, a red light goes on behind you and fifteen thousand people call you a jerk?” Bridgeport Sound Tiger goalie Kevin Poulin is suffering from a rare disorder, an inordinate fear and hatred of red lights.
Poulin has now posted 3 consecutive shutouts, each a 4-0 win for Bridgeport. He has not given up a goal in calendar year 2012, approaching 200 minutes without seeing that hated red light. His first shutout in this impressive streak came on January 2nd, a matinee game at the Webster Bank Arena attended by Garth Show and Charles Wang.
One of the endearing qualities of most Islanders fans I meet is their ability to always look favorably toward the future. Say what you will about the last two decades regarding their favorite franchise, Islanders fans always seem to have an optimistic view of what lies ahead. Whether it’s remaining hopeful that plans for a new arena will somehow develop, or a confidence that the team will someday be champions again, hope never dies on Long Island.
Sure, some of it may lie in the fact that they’ve seen and been through the worst and survived, but mostly it’s a strong loyalty to a team that hasn’t rewarded them nearly as much as they’ve invested, both financially and emotionally.