Over the course of the next two weeks, we’re going to look internally and focus on the Islanders own prospects. We’ll be ranking the organization’s entire prospect pool from Ryan Strome and Calvin de Haan all the way down to, well, whomever ends up at the unfortunate bottom spot. The goal is to give you a picture of who is in the pipeline, what their chances are to someday be on the Islanders roster and to serve as a comprehensive guide for the team’s current talent pool.
The main focus of this exercise is going to be on players that have not yet made an impact at the NHL level. What that means is that players such as Travis Hamonic, Kyle Okposo and Matt Martin will not appear on this list. While those players are still very young and may eventually develop into much better players than they are currently, the aim here isn’t to recite information about players you hear about every day. We’re going to talk about players that have yet to hit Long Island and some that likely never will. There isn’t a hard set of rules for this, but the general idea is that anyone who has played significant time in the NHL (100+ games) or is over 25 years old will not appear on this list. Every player not filtered out by that criteria, whether they are under contract or the team simply has their rights, is (hopefully) included.
After searching far and wide, I’ve determined that the Islanders have 37 players that fit our criteria. We’re going to break this up into a four-part series that will be posted over the next two weeks. Today, we’ll start at the bottom of the pile and work our way up to the top through each successive post. The players are going to be ranked not solely on skill or potential skill, but also based on the potential of ever being seen in an Islander uniform. For example the ranking of Kirill Petrov, who opted against joining the Islanders in favor of re-signing with his Russian club, will suffer simply because it will be a few more years — if ever — before he will be seen in an Islanders uniform.
After the jump, the full list of Islander prospects and the 31st – 37th ranked players.
Calvin de Haan
37. Troy Mattila, F, 2006 7th Round Pick
Senior, Dartmouth (NCAA)
2011-12 stats: 16 GP, 1-0-1, -3
Yes, believe it or not this 2006 draft pick is still on the Islanders radar, technically speaking. Mattila spent two seasons in the USHL before heading to Dartmouth in 2008. Teams retain the rights to college bound draft picks until after their senior year of college, which is why he is still in the Islanders pipeline. The Islanders must make an offer of an ELC to Mattila this summer or face losing his rights. That decision will be very easy after Mattila tallied only one goal this season for one of the lesser teams in the ECAC.
36. Cody Rosen, G, 2010 7th Round Pick
Junior, Clarkson (NCAA)
2011-12 stats: 1GP, 27MIN, 4GA, 15SV
You can’t bring up Rosen without inciting a riot in Islander Country as there has never been so much fervor — both good and bad — over a 7th round pick. Snow drafted the unheard of netminder in 2010, saying that Rosen ‘reminded him a bit of himself.’ Rosen has sat on the bench for the majority of his time at Clarkson. This year he was behind two seniors, so he could certainly see more next year during his senior season.
35. Yuri Alexandrov, D, RFA
23 years old, Omsk Avangard (KHL)
2011-12 stats: 37G, 3-4-7, +7, 28PIM
In late March, the Islanders acquired Alexandrov from the Bruins for future considerations, which are likely contingent on Alexandrov playing in the NHL. Alexandrov’s contract was set to expire and the Bruins likely had given up hope and/or use for him. He was originally a 2nd round pick of the Bruins back in 2006 that went back to Russia after a so-so year (19 points in 66 games) with the Providence Bruins in 2010-11. To retain his rights, the Islanders need to make him a qualifying offer this summer. The question is; do they see him coming back to Russia? Someone in the organization might, if they went out of their way to grab him. Either way, it’s a no-risk scenario. Quite literally as those ‘future considerations’ likely amount to nothing.
34. Yannick Riendeau, RW, RFA
23 years old, Reading Royals (ECHL)
2011-12 stats: Providence (AHL) 18G, 3-3-6, -5, 4PIM
Reading (ECHL) 43G, 13-32-45, -1, 20PIM
Like Alexandrov above, Riendeau was acquired from Boston late in the season. Riendeau was part of the return for sending Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau to the Bruins at the trade deadline (defender Marc Cantin was the other, and will show up on this list later on). Riendeau split his time in Boston between Providence and Reading and is a solid point-per-game player in the ECHL. After being acquired by the Islanders he was added to the Sound Tigers roster but didn’t play, given the logjam at forward. As more players get added to Bridgeport in the coming year, Riendeau will likely be on the outside looking in. As an RFA, the Islanders need to submit a qualifying offer to keep him — an unlikely proposition.
33. Corey Trivino, C, 2008 2nd Round Pick
Senior, Boston University (Hockey East)
2011-12 stats: 15G, 13-4-17, 6PIM
Another question mark this off-season is Corey Trivino, the troubled center from Boston University. Trivino finished up his senior year in Boston on a low note by getting kicked off the team a in mid-December. That puts his future hockey prospects in serious jeopardy, a tough way to go out for a kid with good potential. In April, the trial was postponed until May 30th.
32. Jesse Joensuu, W, Retained Rights (2011 QO)
24 years old, HV71 (SEL)
2011-12 stats: 50G, 13-16-29, -2, 58PIM
After four-years split between the Islanders and Sound Tigers, the 6-foot-4 Finn decided to head closer to home and play for HV71 of the Swedish Elite League. The Islanders made a qualifying offer to Joensuu last summer, retaining his rights for another year despite Joensuu opting to not sign with the team. With a lot of forwards in the system and Joensuu already given a long look in North America, it’s likely he won’t be back with the Islanders. The Islanders will have to make another QO to Joensuu this summer to continue to hold his rights. The Finn did have a great showing at the still on-going IIHF Worlds for Finland, as we’ve noted a few times on the blog.
31. Tomas Marcinko, RW, RFA
23 years old, Bridgeport (AHL)
2011-12 stats: 65G, 8-13-21, -5, 78PIM
Marcinko is one of a trio of Sound Tiger forwards that the team will have to make decisions on, along with Tony Romano and Tyler McNeely. This was the 23-year old’s fourth season in Bridgeport and he did make some strides by doubling his point and goal totals from 2010-11. He also skated in two of the Sound Tigers playoff games against the Whale. On a scary note, Marcinko also suffered a cut to the neck during a game in December, something he has recovered from. As Bridgeport fills up with forward prospects, he’s another player the Islanders will have to make a decision on and potentially cut ties with. The team needs to qualify him this summer to retain his rights, as he is a restricted free agent.