NY Islanders' Prospects Shining in American Hockey League

Christopher Benini@@TheRealCBeniniContributor INovember 8, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 03: Nino Niederreiter #25 of the New York Islanders skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on April 3, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Islanders 3-1.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Have no fear Islander fans, help is on the way. Well, sort of. When the owners and players finally resolve the dispute that has left the players locked out, the Islanders will have more than enough reinforcements.

The Bridgeport Soundtigers sit at 6-3, good for second in the northeast division. Along with second place, they have a handfull of players who are playing at a high level and it's showing in the box scores.

Nino Niederreiter leads the way with six goals and four assists through the first nine games. Niederreiter's AHL campaign is very promising after he flopped last season, registering only one goal with no assists in 55 games.

Along with Niederreiter, the Soundtigers have several Islanders prospects playing well including Brock Nelson, Casey Czikas and Matt Donovan. Nelson currently is second on the team with nine points.

The Islanders hope that the year in the AHL should help the players' transition to the NHL when the lockout ends.

All hasn't been well for the Soundtigers and the Islanders. A few weeks ago, the Soundtigers received news that top prospect defenseman, the oft-injured Calvin Dehaan, would miss the entire season after injuring his shoulder.

Still, things remain optimistic during the lockout period. The goaltending has been solid so far, as Kevin Poulin is 6-2 with a 2.90 goals against average.

The Soundtigers next face Manchester and Connecticut this weekend as they hope to take control of the Northeast Division.

Christopher Benini is a New York Islanders Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and can be followed here.

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