I have said that I believe it would be better for the Islanders to finish between 10th and 12th place in the Eastern Conference as opposed to going the 'Fail for Nail' route and trying to get a top-five lottery pick for this summer's 2012 Entry Draft. But if the season ended today, the Isles would go into the lottery with the fifth pick in the draft. Although that is the least likely position to be in when hoping to move up to number one, the Islanders are almost guaranteed to at least have a selection in this year's top 10 class.
With the playoff picture painting itself out on a permanent canvas over the next two weeks, let's put ourselves in the shoes of some NHL scouts and take a quick glance at what the Islanders will be looking at in between game 82 and draft day.
Nail Yakupov is the clear choice for first overall, having a lot of Alexander Ovechkin comparisons made about his play. After Nail comes Mikhail Grigorenko, who has often been compared to Evgeni Malkin. Both of these Russian prospects will probably be out of the Islanders grasp barring a significant change on the day of the lottery. After these two goal-scoring forwards lie plenty of top-rated defenseman.
Like most hockey fans, I followed this Mondays NHL Trade Deadline with piqued interest. I had to work until 7pm but the 600 plus tweets I received kept me apprised of the days’ activity. As a Bridgeport Sound Tiger fan the trade of 39 year old forward Brian Rolston was great news.
Rolston had cleared waivers at noon the previous day and was destined to Bridgeport if not for that trade. If the Islanders didn’t need his services the Sound Tigers certainly did not. We have a good thing going and his presence would hurt a strong young team.
Nino Niederreiter has been playing with the New York Islanders all season long, but the amount of time he has spent on the ice has become somewhat of a concern amongst Isles fans. The 19-year old winger had a very impressive season last year with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. His skill, size and vision on the ice allowed the Islanders to feel that he was ready to make the full-time jump to the NHL with the organization envisioning his development to result along the lines of a top-six scoring winger.
So far this year, Niederreiter has become the exact opposite. His season was plagued by injuries from the get-go, forcing him to miss the start of the year with a groin injury he sustained in the pre-season. He came back gradually, but eventually started to show that he was getting his game back by using his size in the corners and scoring his first goal of the season. But another injury, the infamous concussion that was given to him in a game against the Dallas Stars, became another hurdle for the young forward to leap over in his development. As a result, the Islanders have played a total of 39 games on the year; Nino has only appeared in 16 of them.
Twitter is a friendly application that many people use all over the world, whether it be for media purposes, to keep tabs on your favorite celebrities and athletes, to keep in touch with friends, or simply to say every little thing that shoots across your mind and at any point of the day.
Yesterday it was used by top Islanders prospect, Nino Niederreiter to answer a question that has been on the minds of almost every fan for the past three games. Although the tweet is no longer available as it has since been deleted, Niederreiter stated something along the lines of "I don't know" in regards to everyone's question: why has Nino Niederreiter been a healthy scratch?
There's no secret as to who has possibly been the most disappointing Islander to date. Blake Comeau, who is looking to improve on a personal best 46-point season in 2011, is off to a terrible start with zero points in 11 games played along with a -5 rating.
Comeau has progressed nicely each year that he has been part of the New York Islanders organization. He had a three game stint with the big club back in 2007 before being sent back to the AHL, where he scored 43 points in 61 games with the Sound Tigers. But after that, Comeau would basically solidify himself as a member of the Islanders from then on out.
He put up 15 points in 2008, 25 points in 2009 and then 35 in...
It was announced today by the New York Islanders that fourth line enforcer Trevor Gillies cleared waivers and has been sent to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the team's AHL affiliate. Nino Niederreiter has been assigned to the Sound Tigers on a conditioning stint after missing the first nine games with a groin injury.
This likely means that EL Nino is close to making his 2011 debut with the Isles and is going to get some catching up time after sitting since the pre-season.
Per the Islanders official press-release:
"The New York Islanders announced today that forwards Trevor Gillies and Nino Niederreiter have been assigned to the Bridgepo...
The New York Islanders are in the middle of training camp; plenty of fresh faces are looking to surprise the coaching staff and crack the line-up while a few other seasoned and whithered faces look to continue their NHL career with an impressive tryout.
But what everyone is hoping for is a successful season that will result in the Islanders FINALLY making the playoffs after the slow and steady rebuild began three seasons ago.
Let's take a look at some of the major events that have transpired in Islanders country during the off-season thus far:
1. General Manager Garth Snow re-signed Kyle Okposo and Michael Grabner to five-year contract extensions at an affordable pri...
We all know that an earthquake in Virginia was felt throughout Long Island and upwards into Canada yesterday, but the question that is looming on most minds of Islanders fans is if Nino Niederreiter will be cracking the line-up this season.
El Nino, (which is Spanish for, "the Nino"), is a 6'2, 203 pound left winger that is coming off a spectacular year with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. After a 60 point season in 2010, Niederreiter tallied 41 goals and 29 assists for 70 points in 55 games played this year; a 10 point improvement in 10 fewer games played. He also captained Team Switzerland in this year's World Junior Championships and was second on the team ...