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Five Defensive Prospects to Watch

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Old
08-05-2013, 12:51 PM
  #1
ShawnTHW
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Five Defensive Prospects to Watch

Another great article courtesy of Toli Metter:

http://thehockeywriters.com/new-york...ects-to-watch/

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08-05-2013, 01:25 PM
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Another great article courtesy of Toli Metter:

http://thehockeywriters.com/new-york...ects-to-watch/
Very good article, really enjoyed it.

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08-05-2013, 01:38 PM
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Can't wait to see if these guys pan out.

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08-05-2013, 01:52 PM
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Good read. The Isles are doing the right thing by developing their own defensemen. I think next year is when things will start to get really interesting in relation to the numbers game. Bridgeport is going to be a joy to watch with a lot of defensive talent in the pipeline.

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08-05-2013, 05:11 PM
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Can the ice handle all that weight?

The Isles blue-line can be scary huge.

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08-05-2013, 05:38 PM
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And just think, Tavares will only be 35 by the time they are all developed...

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08-05-2013, 05:44 PM
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And just think, Tavares will only be 35 by the time they are all developed...
Hahaha. So true. By the time these kids are ready JT will have 2 years left? Man, prospects are prospects, someone's gotta go soon to bring in some talent.

Lets just resign every player we have and somehow we will get better....

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08-05-2013, 10:02 PM
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Hahaha. So true. By the time these kids are ready JT will have 2 years left? Man, prospects are prospects, someone's gotta go soon to bring in some talent.

Lets just resign every player we have and somehow we will get better....
I mean...the team is getting better. We already have guys graduating into the lineup every year we just want a steady pipeline to replace the guys who'll end up leaving.

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08-05-2013, 11:37 PM
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Hahaha. So true. By the time these kids are ready JT will have 2 years left? Man, prospects are prospects, someone's gotta go soon to bring in some talent.

Lets just resign every player we have and somehow we will get better....
I am glad you caught the exaggeration. It won't take that long, but it won't be the next three years either which many seem to think in here. It would help ten fold to add the right guy now. It is part of the frustrating thing watching the club keep stating that they will only add a free agent when they are close to competing for the cup. IMO, they need to be more proactive than that if they want to make a real run before John is old.

Prospect X will be in minors for 3 years.
He will go back and forth another year, finally landing as a 5/6 a year later. It will take him 3 years to earn the right to be called a legit top four.

That's a seven year development period. We need to fill every spot on the blueline not occupied by Hamonic with kids before our defense is a beast.

7 years.

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08-05-2013, 11:37 PM
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I mean...the team is getting better. We already have guys graduating into the lineup every year we just want a steady pipeline to replace the guys who'll end up leaving.
I think we are getting better as well. But at some point, people need to realize that we have giant needs on the NHL team that need to be addressed and having a deep prospect pool allows us to upgrade this team now.

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08-06-2013, 10:43 AM
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Wow, only Islanders fans can you look at a deep stable of quality young defense prospects and somehow twist it as a bad thing. SMH.

Snow is sticking to his plan and everything is on track. Yes, it has been a slow build but we have seen progress every year and last year the Isles made the playoffs and almost took out the Penguins. Now you can argue that Snow was forced to rebuild, because Wang didn't want to spend money but, to Snow's credit, he realized early on when he took over that the Isles were not talented enough to challenge for the cup and scrapped the whole thing.

Now the Isles have quality defense players/prospects at every level NHL, AHL, overseas in junior and in college. They have established young players in Hamonic and MacDonald and (cheap) depth players like Strait and Hickey at the NHL level. Donovan, de Haan and Ness are at the AHL level and ready to either move to the NHL or be shipped out if they do not produce accordingly or be included in part of a package for an upgrade elsewhere. Pedan and Mayfield are moving into the AHL this year and Reinhardt is perhaps a year away from the AHL and two-plus years (or maybe less) away from the NHL. Pokka and Pelech are interesting prospects that may be several years away from the NHL but, if they keep developing, one can be included in a package for an upgrade. Pulock is years away but he is a solid prospect that any team would like to have in its system. Who knows what we have, if anything, in Robbie Russo but he is a solid player in a good college program.

This past NHL free agent class was not the one to spend big money on. Next year's class could be the best in some time if teams do not lock up their premium free agents. The Rangers alone have three big names to sign. To me, this seems like a very important year in shaping the Isles for the long-term future. They have locked up the core and, with another year of development, will be able to better determine which assets to keep and which to trade. The Isles are in an enviable solution with a solid core locked up, one of the best cap situations in the NHL and a deep prospect pool. In the end they will need to find out who will be the long-term starter in net, add one top-line forward and maybe add one solid veteran defender and they are going to be legit cup contenders for the foreseeable future.

To me, the only real question is will Wang spend to get them over the hump but there is nothing Snow or the fans can do about that, unfortunately. We just have to hope that Wang opens up his wallet enough or sells the team and walks away. But that is a completely different conversation.

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08-06-2013, 07:08 PM
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Wow, only Islanders fans can you look at a deep stable of quality young defense prospects and somehow twist it as a bad thing.
Holy only-see-what-you-want-to-see Batman. No one said they sucked or that the future doesn't get brighter in time, but the current administration's supporters tend to claim what will be a strength in 5+ years down the line as a strength now. It is a subtle distortion of reality, but it is a distortion of reality all the same. No matter how awesome Reinhart turns out to be, he isn't stepping in this year or next year and playing at honest and true top 4 ability. Hamonic, who is much further along than the rest isn't even there yet on a consistent basis, yet some are talking up our defense like it is a solid strength right now. It isn't. In fact it is pretty bad in key areas, the top 3 being the ability to control the front of the net, physical play and winning the puck in the defensive zone in general, and ability to keep the puck in while in the offensive zone. Physically, as a unit, they suck, and I don't think it is an exaggeration of any kind to associate our awful GA with too many midgets on defense, physical or mental, take your pick.

The next 5 years will be pretty frustrating if they don't fix the defense faster than just waiting for Reinhart, CdH, Pokka, Mayfield, etc., to not only make it to the NHL, but actually play at an honest top 4 level. Maybe if they had a great goaltender that would help offset some of this problem, but frankly our goaltending sucks, both now, and the 5 year projection.

Hate the frustration of it all if it helps, just don't hate me for pointing out the sun in the sky.

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08-06-2013, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by A Pointed Stick View Post
Holy only-see-what-you-want-to-see Batman. No one said they sucked or that the future doesn't get brighter in time, but the current administration's supporters tend to claim what will be a strength in 5+ years down the line as a strength now. It is a subtle distortion of reality, but it is a distortion of reality all the same. No matter how awesome Reinhart turns out to be, he isn't stepping in this year or next year and playing at honest and true top 4 ability. Hamonic, who is much further along than the rest isn't even there yet on a consistent basis, yet some are talking up our defense like it is a solid strength right now. It isn't. In fact it is pretty bad in key areas, the top 3 being the ability to control the front of the net, physical play and winning the puck in the defensive zone in general, and ability to keep the puck in while in the offensive zone. Physically, as a unit, they suck, and I don't think it is an exaggeration of any kind to associate our awful GA with too many midgets on defense, physical or mental, take your pick.

The next 5 years will be pretty frustrating if they don't fix the defense faster than just waiting for Reinhart, CdH, Pokka, Mayfield, etc., to not only make it to the NHL, but actually play at an honest top 4 level. Maybe if they had a great goaltender that would help offset some of this problem, but frankly our goaltending sucks, both now, and the 5 year projection.

Hate the frustration of it all if it helps, just don't hate me for pointing out the sun in the sky.
Nice post. I agree with pretty much everything you said.

People quickly forget we had one of the worst GAA in the NHL, which was exposed even more in the playoffs.

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08-06-2013, 09:35 PM
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Nice post. I agree with pretty much everything you said.

People quickly forget we had one of the worst GAA in the NHL, which was exposed even more in the playoffs.
we made the playoffs? you mean, one of the 16 teams that made it? out of 30? and we suck???

wow guys... we've been improving, the last three years, in spite of the chicken little impersonators. and i see no reason why we will regress now, or in the near future. IF Snow starts over spending, then yes, there is a good chance that we will get caught in the ugly downward spiral. till then, I am going to enjoy the success we had last year, and look forward to improvements.

can't knock the grin off of my face!

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08-07-2013, 12:00 AM
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we made the playoffs? you mean, one of the 16 teams that made it? out of 30? and we suck???

wow guys... we've been improving, the last three years, in spite of the chicken little impersonators. and i see no reason why we will regress now, or in the near future. IF Snow starts over spending, then yes, there is a good chance that we will get caught in the ugly downward spiral. till then, I am going to enjoy the success we had last year, and look forward to improvements.

can't knock the grin off of my face!
Yes we did. Over 50% of the league makes the playoffs...not like football or baseball. It's a great accomplishment, but you still need to be critical in order to improve.

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08-07-2013, 04:59 AM
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Yes we did. Over 50% of the league makes the playoffs...not like football or baseball. It's a great accomplishment, but you still need to be critical in order to improve.
i'm not against, and believe that i understand the merit, in continuously identifying weaknesses. we should always be doing this, as well as taking steps to eliminate them. i don't believe in perfection, but i have no problems striving for it.

that said, i don't believe that constant criticism is healthy.

i remember the story of a coach, stating that he offers 2 pieces of encouragement/positive feedback, for every piece of criticism. this was his key to keeping his athletes in a positive yet realistic state of mind. and i remember thinking that this would probably be effective, for life in general.

i have tried to apply this to my own life, as well as when dealing with those that i care about. i haven't solved every problem encountered, but i have improved my own mindset (overall happiness), as well as developed a reasonably effective way of dealing with important issues, as they arise.


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08-07-2013, 01:09 PM
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The next 5 years will be pretty frustrating if they don't fix the defense faster than just waiting for Reinhart, CdH, Pokka, Mayfield, etc., to not only make it to the NHL, but actually play at an honest top 4 level. Maybe if they had a great goaltender that would help offset some of this problem, but frankly our goaltending sucks, both now, and the 5 year projection.

Hate the frustration of it all if it helps, just don't hate me for pointing out the sun in the sky.
And, if the current administration only sat around waiting for young players to graduate over the next five years without adding a solid veteran or two along the way, you would have a right to complain. However, Snow added Vis last year and has the pieces to make a deal in-season if that is what is required.

Then NEXT YEAR, when a better free agent crop hits the market then the flotsam that made up this past class, and the Isles see exactly what they have in Hamonic, MacDonald, Strait, Hickey, Donovan (who seems ready now and should be a better even-strength player than Streit) and de Haan, you make the big free agent signing or deal from all of that depth, which you have had another year to look at and value, for the final missing player on the blue line.

Don't hate me for pointing out that there is a plan in place and Snow is (thankfully) sticking to it and avoiding a rash move for instant gratification. It may not be working fast enough for some fans but I would prefer the cautious, slow build to signing a James Wisniewski to a six-year/$33 million contract or trading away prime assets, before they are at the top of their value, for a quick fix.

As for the goalie issue, next year Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Miller, Jonas Hiller, Jaroslav Halak, Devan Dubnyk, Corey Crawford, Brian Elliott, Anton Khudobin and others will be available as UFA's and trades could be made too. The Isles will also know exactly what they have in Poulin and Nilsson at that point (can they be starters in the NHL or are they just backups?). Sure I would like to have the goalie problem solved right now but, again, I can wait if it is the smart play to do so.

If, five years from now, no solid vets were brought in to help the young players along, then we definitely have a problem. Until then, I will trust Snow and his plan. Make one or two smart, well-informed moves while retaining as many assets as possible to keep the system stocked and pipeline of prospects flowing.

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08-07-2013, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by danteipp View Post
And, if the current administration only sat around waiting for young players to graduate over the next five years without adding a solid veteran or two along the way, you would have a right to complain. However, Snow added Vis last year and has the pieces to make a deal in-season if that is what is required.

Then NEXT YEAR, when a better free agent crop hits the market then the flotsam that made up this past class, and the Isles see exactly what they have in Hamonic, MacDonald, Strait, Hickey, Donovan (who seems ready now and should be a better even-strength player than Streit) and de Haan, you make the big free agent signing or deal from all of that depth, which you have had another year to look at and value, for the final missing player on the blue line.

Don't hate me for pointing out that there is a plan in place and Snow is (thankfully) sticking to it and avoiding a rash move for instant gratification. It may not be working fast enough for some fans but I would prefer the cautious, slow build to signing a James Wisniewski to a six-year/$33 million contract or trading away prime assets, before they are at the top of their value, for a quick fix.

As for the goalie issue, next year Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Miller, Jonas Hiller, Jaroslav Halak, Devan Dubnyk, Corey Crawford, Brian Elliott, Anton Khudobin and others will be available as UFA's and trades could be made too. The Isles will also know exactly what they have in Poulin and Nilsson at that point (can they be starters in the NHL or are they just backups?). Sure I would like to have the goalie problem solved right now but, again, I can wait if it is the smart play to do so.

If, five years from now, no solid vets were brought in to help the young players along, then we definitely have a problem. Until then, I will trust Snow and his plan. Make one or two smart, well-informed moves while retaining as many assets as possible to keep the system stocked and pipeline of prospects flowing.
Good post. Snow's MoneyHockey model has the Isles in a great situation. Let's not forget that we are still in the midst of a rebuild. Last year's playoff run was great and a much needed boost to the 1st wave of players (KO, Bails, JT, Frans, Grabs, etc.) who have had to endure a lot of crap over the years. The 2nd wave (Strome, Nelson, Donovan, CDH?, Lee, etc.) should start making contributions this upcoming season. The 3rd wave (Reinhart, Pulock, Pokka, Mayfield, Pedan, etc.) are probably 2 years away from making an impact. The prospects are staggered nicely and the Isles can continue to upgrade from within and also keep costs down with so many cost-controlled assets.

The intention is to build a long term contender and to have as long of a Cup contention window as possible when it opens. You could say that it's open now, but I think we're still a year off from that when all the elements of a perfect storm could come together.

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08-07-2013, 03:00 PM
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And, if the current administration only sat around waiting for young players to graduate over the next five years without adding a solid veteran or two along the way, you would have a right to complain. However, Snow added Vis last year and has the pieces to make a deal in-season if that is what is required.
They have needed to make deal for the past three years but have not. Vis was a good addition, but the stable on defense was so barren for so long that luck, not Garth, played a big hand in getting us to where we are now, and that was thanks to the waiver wire with Strait and Hickey. I give Garth points for grabbing them when he had the chance, but there is no way you go into a season expecting those two to fall into your lap. Regarding trades, they state loudly that barring the unexpected, the answer is from the farm. And Vis is a year to year guy, not a 5 year fix. Our defense is still a significant weak link because of these things.

Quote:
Then NEXT YEAR, when a better free agent crop hits the market then the flotsam that made up this past class, and the Isles see exactly what they have in Hamonic, MacDonald, Strait, Hickey, Donovan (who seems ready now and should be a better even-strength player than Streit) and de Haan, you make the big free agent signing or deal from all of that depth, which you have had another year to look at and value, for the final missing player on the blue line.
I hear that every year, and every year the gems for the most part get signed before the deadline, and the few remaining good defense men go for outrageous contracts and we hear, 'that's just too much, I am glad we didn't sign him for that...' you can set your watch to that very scenario and reaction at this point. Nothing suggests that will change next year. The same could be said for adding a much needed wing for Tavares. Instead we treat him to a 2nd line wing who has a thinner egghead than Humpty Dumpty. I am sorry Dan, but it is getting laughable at this point.

Quote:
Don't hate me for pointing out that there is a plan in place and Snow is (thankfully) sticking to it and avoiding a rash move for instant gratification. It may not be working fast enough for some fans but I would prefer the cautious, slow build to signing a James Wisniewski to a six-year/$33 million contract or trading away prime assets, before they are at the top of their value, for a quick fix.
There are these things called 'trades that other teams make to improve them when a large enough hole appears somewhere in their ship. Garth won't consider it at the moment, not unless it is a 5th rounder for Malkin if you get my drift. And a five year hole is not a quick fix. It is actually a necessary repair.

Again, not asking to go 'Milbury' here, but if asking to fix one and only one significant hole on the club via trade is outrageous then that's plain silly.

Quote:
As for the goalie issue, next year Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Miller, Jonas Hiller, Jaroslav Halak, Devan Dubnyk, Corey Crawford, Brian Elliott, Anton Khudobin and others will be available as UFA's and trades could be made too. The Isles will also know exactly what they have in Poulin and Nilsson at that point (can they be starters in the NHL or are they just backups?). Sure I would like to have the goalie problem solved right now but, again, I can wait if it is the smart play to do so.
As stated above, if I had a penny for very time someone trots out the old tired line about next year...

Quote:
If, five years from now, no solid vets were brought in to help the young players along, then we definitely have a problem. Until then, I will trust Snow and his plan. Make one or two smart, well-informed moves while retaining as many assets as possible to keep the system stocked and pipeline of prospects flowing.
We already watched three of this five years slide by, IMO. The time to act is now.

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08-07-2013, 03:36 PM
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Good post. Snow's MoneyHockey model has the Isles in a great situation. Let's not forget that we are still in the midst of a rebuild. Last year's playoff run was great and a much needed boost to the 1st wave of players (KO, Bails, JT, Frans, Grabs, etc.) who have had to endure a lot of crap over the years. The 2nd wave (Strome, Nelson, Donovan, CDH?, Lee, etc.) should start making contributions this upcoming season. The 3rd wave (Reinhart, Pulock, Pokka, Mayfield, Pedan, etc.) are probably 2 years away from making an impact. The prospects are staggered nicely and the Isles can continue to upgrade from within and also keep costs down with so many cost-controlled assets.

The intention is to build a long term contender and to have as long of a Cup contention window as possible when it opens. You could say that it's open now, but I think we're still a year off from that when all the elements of a perfect storm could come together.
I agree with your general sentiment. My only nitpick (and that's exactly what it is) is that the 3rd wave of player does not have any forwards in it. We spent the whole draft in 12' on D and our 1st pick this year was Pulock (and I don't have a problem with him specifically - a PMD balances nicely with our other prospects).

But while the D is staggered fairly nicely for maturation (AFTER this year), after Nelson and Strome graduate, there really isn't much there. Sure Sundstrom, Kabanov and Persson have a chance to be NHLers, but they hardly compare to what the D prospects look like.

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08-07-2013, 04:21 PM
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I agree with your general sentiment. My only nitpick (and that's exactly what it is) is that the 3rd wave of player does not have any forwards in it. We spent the whole draft in 12' on D and our 1st pick this year was Pulock (and I don't have a problem with him specifically - a PMD balances nicely with our other prospects).

But while the D is staggered fairly nicely for maturation (AFTER this year), after Nelson and Strome graduate, there really isn't much there. Sure Sundstrom, Kabanov and Persson have a chance to be NHLers, but they hardly compare to what the D prospects look like.
So you wanted me to expand to wave 4? Haha, you're killing me man.

Taking an early look at the 2014 Draft, it looks like a stronger forward class unlike the 2012 Draft where the Isles went with the flow and drafted ALL d-men. Looking at the system, I think the Isles have to be going for a forward or two or three early next year and that should replenish the pipeline. Since forwards are usually easier to project and typically require less development time than d-men, wave 4 should be a year off from the defense heavy wave 3. Presto, we keep it groovin' baby!

Of course, this is only if the Isles continue to operate the same MoneyHockey way when they are in Brooklyn. With a definite numbers game brewing from the defense prospects, Snow should have plenty of assets and the cap space to find an upgrade up front if needed. If Wang or the new owner decide to open the wallet, then we'll be a powerhouse for a decade.*

*This entire post is through rose colored lenses. While I sway to the optimistic side, things never go according to plan.


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08-08-2013, 04:14 AM
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*This entire post is through rose colored lenses. While I sway to the optimistic side, things never go according to plan.
True, but nice to see some positivity in this thread from you and a few others! I don't like wishing my life away but October seems like an age away...

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08-08-2013, 10:31 AM
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So you wanted me to expand to wave 4? Haha, you're killing me man.

Taking an early look at the 2014 Draft, it looks like a stronger forward class unlike the 2012 Draft where the Isles went with the flow and drafted ALL d-men. Looking at the system, I think the Isles have to be going for a forward or two or three early next year and that should replenish the pipeline. Since forwards are usually easier to project and typically require less development time than d-men, wave 4 should be a year off from the defense heavy wave 3. Presto, we keep it groovin' baby!

Of course, this is only if the Isles continue to operate the same MoneyHockey way when they are in Brooklyn. With a definite numbers game brewing from the defense prospects, Snow should have plenty of assets and the cap space to find an upgrade up front if needed. If Wang or the new owner decide to open the wallet, then we'll be a powerhouse for a decade.*

*This entire post is through rose colored lenses. While I sway to the optimistic side, things never go according to plan.
Let's also not forget that having this abundance of d prospects may also become handy assets for trade if more than a few of them pan out. That could help out in the future for the current lack of forward system depth.

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08-11-2013, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by PWJunior View Post
Good post. Snow's MoneyHockey model has the Isles in a great situation. Let's not forget that we are still in the midst of a rebuild. Last year's playoff run was great and a much needed boost to the 1st wave of players (KO, Bails, JT, Frans, Grabs, etc.) who have had to endure a lot of crap over the years. The 2nd wave (Strome, Nelson, Donovan, CDH?, Lee, etc.) should start making contributions this upcoming season. The 3rd wave (Reinhart, Pulock, Pokka, Mayfield, Pedan, etc.) are probably 2 years away from making an impact. The prospects are staggered nicely and the Isles can continue to upgrade from within and also keep costs down with so many cost-controlled assets.

The intention is to build a long term contender and to have as long of a Cup contention window as possible when it opens. You could say that it's open now, but I think we're still a year off from that when all the elements of a perfect storm could come together.
I couldn't agree more. I think we will see quality, competitive hockey this year as Snow evaluates exactly what they have already in the fold and what they need to go out and get. Then maybe in-season this year or next off-season the last couple big holes will be filled with premium players instead of the placeholder-types we have seen to date.

In goal, the Isles need to figure out what they have in Nilsson and Poulin and that is coming this year. Can either one be a No. 1 goalie? If so, that would be huge and the cost savings enormous. I have my doubts either will step up enough to put your faith in long term, but we can wait one more year to find out. That is the safe and smart play.

On the blue line they will probably be looking to determine exactly where Donovan, de Haan, Strait and Hickey slot in for the next 3-5 years. Can any of them be top-4 defense men or are they bottom pairing players? Should they extend MacDonald or can he be packaged in a trade for an upgrade?

Who amongst the young forwards will push for the top two lines? Strome? Nelson? Another name altogether?

Which of the prospects are keepers and who can be traded? The last thing you want to do is trade away young talent before it fully develops in value.

The time to make a significant deal or sign a big name or two is now through next year, not three years ago. What good would have come from trading away young assets and picks three years ago or signing a premium veteran then, other than to make a cosmetic change? Those teams weren't going anywhere and nobody of consequence wanted to play for the Isles then anyway.

Now there is a young core in place, a deep prospect pool to draw from for sustained success and the arena issue has been solved. Sure maybe a few more dollars could have been spent on the "placeholders" the last few years but it wouldn't have made any material difference.

The rebuild has been slow but it has been steady and I can't fault Snow for hoarding his assets. If Milbury had done that he would still be working in the NHL instead of just talking about it on TV.

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08-12-2013, 10:43 AM
  #25
Chapin Landvogt
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Originally Posted by A Pointed Stick View Post
The next 5 years will be pretty frustrating if they don't fix the defense faster than just waiting for Reinhart, CdH, Pokka, Mayfield, etc., to not only make it to the NHL, but actually play at an honest top 4 level. Maybe if they had a great goaltender that would help offset some of this problem, but frankly our goaltending sucks, both now, and the 5 year projection.
Along with Hamonic and maybe MacDonald and Hickey, I thoroughly believe the Isles plan on having a blueline that almost singlehandidly features its own draft picks, using several of them along the way to trade for help up front or even in goal if need be.

But we shouldn't think for a second that they've added 13 Dmen to this system the past three drafts despite Hamonic and MacDonald with Donovan and de Haan on the way solely to perhaps work them in slowly with 3 or 4 proven NHL blueliners.

This team is going the Nashville Predators route.

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