Corey Pronman is the NHL prospects writer at The Athletic. I recently had a chance to sit down with him and get his impressions on the Islanders' system, including some of the players who are soon expected to graduate to the big club. Here's what he had to say on some of the team's top youngsters...
"I don't think he was dominant in 2016-17, rather just a fine top-six forward. And I think that is sustainable over the course of a full NHL season, as long as he doesn't test the coaching staff with off-ice stuff, which has seemed to die down of late."
"The Isles have a lot of forwards under contract for this season, but I think you have to find a spot for Barzal. He's one of the best players outside the NHL. Whether it's at center or on the wing, he needs to be on the team."
Michael Dal Colle
"I think he's a fine player who has top-nine potential, maybe a little more. But it's hard for me to see him being an impact guy with his mediocre skating. He shows you glimpses of his potential, and given his age and experience, I think he's getting close to cracking the roster, but I don't think he has a spot right now."
Sebastian Aho-Parker Wotherspoon
"The pairing moved the puck well with their vision and feet [last Wednesday in the rookie game in Philadelphia]. Aho, particularly, showed his maturity after being a top player in the Swedish Hockey League last season. Along with David Quenneville and Mitchell Vande Sompel, the Islanders have a lot of nice defensive prospects who can transport the puck."
On any prospect currently flying under the radar in the Isles system:
"Keep an eye on Logan Cockerill at Boston University. He's a personal favorite of mine."