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12-04-2012, 10:43 AM
Chapin Landvogt
Hockey's Future Staff
Join Date: Jul 2002
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Originally Posted by redbull View Post
always hated the defense on this team, both in the NHL and in BP. They just seem to draft poorly or develop poorly or trade poorly.
Not so sure the drafting part is all that much of a problem, but agree with the latter two to a good degree.

I like deHaan but he can't seem to stay healthy
Donovan has potential but, according to those who watch closely, he's got some work to do defensively.
I know it's been talked about addendum, but the de Haan pick was not just a decision, it was a huge investment. In a draft with a number of good defensive prospects, they felt he was worth 4 picks, including a 1st and two seconds.

The kid no doubt has some all-round qualities, but one will always question the perspective of the investment to grab him, especially in light of a few boys left on the board to get him, including Kulikov who was more highly ranked everywhere and has certainly paid off in much better dividends for his NHL team.

In this respect, the Islanders during Snow's tenure can often be questioned.

As for the future, it's going to be really, really rough for this franchise if the shoulder(s) prevent him from becoming a regular NHLer, much less a good one. I long thought he could be a Jonsson for us, but at the moment I'm thinking it ain't gonna happen. I play with people who have suffered the problems he's been having and they don't go away.

Maybe that changes, if we're lucky.

As for Donovan, love the possibilities and I've often written that he reminds me a lot of Erhoff at that age. His numbers were really, really impressive for a rookie AHLer after just two years of college.

This said, from what I've seen in person and in the many highlights, I continue to worry about the defensive reads and positioning. We may have a guy who more closely resembles Bergeron than Erhoff.

But Landry, Ness, Wishart, and the other scrubs along with the Reese, Gervais, Hillens of times past.
To be fair, Ness does fine in the AHL, all things considered. Whether he's ultimately NHL material is another thing. Was worth a 2nd rounder? He was picked in the general vacinity of expectations.

Reese is a fine AHL/NHL depth Dman. It's always good to have a player like him hanging around. Gervais did some good things in the AHL in his pre-NHL time. Hillen is not multidimensional, but was a college UFA that they chanced it on. He did a few good and bad things on the Isle. If you ask me, he was different after the injury from that Ovechkin shot. Campoli can be thrown into this list while we're at it.

The Isles have actually been pretty good at finding 'decent roleplaying' Dmen in later rounds, but like you wrote, Hamonic is the one real Godsend in the last little while and MacDonald has been a blessing too. Very good midrange Dman to have around.

When it comes to BPort though, I'm kind of disappointed that they don't add one or two very proven, veteran AHL Dmen who can bear a good deal of responsibility and maybe even fill in at the NHL level. I didn't like seeing Reese walk, but no-one of his ilk brought in. They could really use that right now.

It's nice to find these inbetweeners like Motherwell and Landry, but let's face it, Hamonic and de Haan are the only above-average guys they have on that blueline (well-knowing that Donovan can handle offensive responsibilities) and now they're out. That blueline is dead in the water at the moment. MacIver is a tough guy, Landry and Wishart are instable - even defensive liabilities. Can say nothing about Hill or Cantin (ECHL fodder?).

And although MacDonald and Watkins are not bad AHLers, we can make the same gripe about the forward ranks - that the kids aren't being insulated enough.

You give this team a couple of Derek Smiths and TJ Brennans on the blueline and a Tim Kennedy, Ben Walter and Darren Haydar up front, then it's a much different story in my mind's eye.

Those are just examples, but a topflight veteran group would have made things much easier on the kids.

I'm encouraged by Reinhart who will be fantastic as an Islander. I'm also really hopeful for Mayfield, Pedan, Pelech - at least ONE of which should be a solid defender with decent size and skill.

Kichton and Russo are also really promising.
Kind of going a bit against the grain of what you began your post with, eh?

I think we can all say that we have enough promising Dmen to realistically feel that by the time we're in Brooklyn, we'll have a top six that can play with anybody and which should include four of our own draft picks. That's impressive! Especially for a team that has, up to now, not done all that much of a good job in bringing in above-average outsiders for the blueline (or anywhere else for that matter) and doesn't chance it at all with i.e. older players doing well in Europe.

With any luck, I may just be in Ufa later this month, so here's reallyreallyreally hoping that all of Strome, Reinhart, Pelech, Russo and Pokka will be at the tournament - as well as a few other future Islanders.

Last edited by Chapin Landvogt: 12-04-2012 at 10:57 AM.
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