NHL Rankings: New York Islanders Top 10 Prospects

Billy SmithCorrespondent IIIJuly 6, 2011

NHL Rankings: New York Islanders Top 10 Prospects

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    The New York Islanders have had great drafts in the past few years. From grabbing Kyle Okposo in 2006 to drafting Ryan Strome in this past draft, the Islanders have one of the best systems in the entire NHL.

    There is talent all throughout the system at every position. Some of these top prospects have made it to the NHL and made an impact on Long Island. The Islanders future is bright and becoming brighter every single year.

    This slideshow will show who the Islanders top 10 prospects are and how they could make an impact in the NHL. So let's take a look at some of the future players to put on an Islander jersey.

1. Nino Niederreiter

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    Nino Niederreiter is not only the top Islander prospect, but he is also one of the top prospects in the entire NHL.

    Niederreiter was drafted fifth overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the islanders. Niederreiter is a guy that the Islanders have needed for a few years. He has good size and plays a physical game while still producing very good numbers offensively. Niederreiter is a great fit for any team as he can play physical while still being a great goal scorer.

    Last season the Islanders started Niederreiter in the NHL. After nine games, he was sent back the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL. There, he played 55 games and showed why he is a top prospect. Niederreiter scored 41 goals and had 29 assists for 70 points on the year. If he could bring that to the NHL level, he would be a top player in this league, and that is the type of potential he has.

2. Ryan Strome

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    Ryan Strome was one of the best players available in the 2011 NHL Draft. The islanders were very happy to take him with the fifth overall pick.

    Ryan Strome will be a very good NHL player. Strome isn't a big guy but he makes up for it with his skill. Ryan Strome could be a pure goal scorer if he develops right. The islanders are lacking a top goal scorer and if John Tavares develops into a 30 goal scorer like he should, the islanders have a scary combination of Tavares and Strome for years to come.

    Strome played in the OHL with the Niagara IceDogs last season. In 65 games there, Strome scored 33 goals and had 73 assists and finished with 106 points, which was third best in the OHL. Strome could very well be a top player on this Islander team. He still is a couple years away but it should be worth the wait for islander fans.

3. Calvin De Hann

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    Calvin de Haan was drafted by the Isles in the 2009 NHL Draft. He is the teams top defensive prospect in the system and could see playing time very soon in the NHL.

    de Haan is a very good player on the blue line. Not only is a great in the defensive zone, but he also has improved on the offensive side of the puck. He has great puck handling skills and has a good shot. He would be great for the Islanders on the power play. He is a good skater and he isn't a liability in the defensive end of the ice. de Haan plays a very solid defensive game.

    Calvin de Haan played in 55 games last year with the Oshawa Generals in the OHL. He scored six goals and had 42 assists for 48 points. The isles would love to de Haan develop into a top four defenseman, which if he develops well, he could be just that.

4. Kevin Poulin

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    If the Islanders current goalie Rick DiPietro cannot stay healthy, Kevin Poulin is the guy that would likely be the future goalie on Long island.

    Kevin Poulin played 10 games with the Islanders last season and it gave Islander fans hope that their goaltending situation isn't as bad as it seems. Poulin seems like he could be a very good NHL goalie. He was drafted by the Isles back in 2008 with the 126th overall pick. Poulin had a 4-2-1 record with the Islanders and posted a .925 save percentage and 2.44 goals against average.

    The Islanders are in a tough spot right now with their goaltending situation. Having Poulin on the team helps a lot if the Islanders ever find themselves in a tight spot.

5. Kirill Kabanov

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    Kirll Kabanov fell in the 2010 NHL Draft after some issues with his previous teams in the QMJHL and in Russia. But Kabanov has all the talent in the world to be a good NHL player. It was actually thought that the top three picks in the 2010 draft could Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin and Kirill Kabanov.

    Some people were saying that he would be a top pick in the draft. Instead, he fell to the 65th pick in the draft. Kabanov can dominate on offense when he's on his games. He has very good vision and has a nice shot. He has good skating ability and is a very good playmaker. The thing with Kabanov is his attitude. He is sometimes streaky and lacks intensity but when he's on his game he is hard to stop

    Kabanov played in 39 games last season between Moncton and Lewiston in the QMJHL. There he scored 11 goals and finished with 28 points. He also played well in the playoffs scoring eight goals and finishing with 20 points in 15 playoff games.

    If Kabanov's attitude improves along with his play, the Islanders could have a steal from the 2010 NHL Draft.

6. Anders Nilsson

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    The Islanders are very deep in top goaltending talent. Anders Nilsson is the second best goalie (behind Kevin Poulin) in the islanders system.

    Nilsson, who is 6'5" and 220 pounds, is a big guy that covers the net very well. He plays smart and is very calm in the crease. He is great a challenging shooters and plays a very consistent game. He rarely plays poorly. He also has good side to side movement and is very athletic and agile.

    Nilsson played with Lulea HF in the Swedish Elite League last season. There he played in 31 games with a 1.92 goals against average and a .918 save percentage. Those are very good numbers for a goalie at any level. The Islanders have a lot to look forward to in this guy. If he can improve, it would only benefit the Islanders.

7. Casey Cizikas

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    Casey Cizikas could be a top five prospect on a lot of teams so to have him listed at seven just shows the talent that the isles have.

    Cizikas plays a solid all around game and does a lot of things on the ice right. He has good offensive skill and is capable of putting more numbers on the board. He is a great passer and sets up his teammates well. He has good puck handling skills and could take more shots as he makes a lot of rook for himself. He isn't very big so he will need to get stronger as he starts to get more experience.

    Last season Cizikas played in 52 games with Mississauga. he scored 29 goals and finished with 64 points. Cizikas played in 16 more games in the 2009-10 season and scored 25 goals so you can see that his offensive game has improved.

    The Isles could use a center like Casey Cizikas in the future so he should see playing time on Long Island sometime in the future.

8. Kirill Petrov

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    Kirill Petrov could be a very nice fit for the Islanders in the future. The islanders are in need of a winger and this could be their guy in the future.

    Petrov is a very skilled winder with good size. He is 6'3" and 198 pounds and it's hard to knock him off the puck. Petrov also plays a physical game and can fight through tough areas with his size. Petrov also is a great skater that has a good combination of speed and agility. He is also a good puck handler and has a good shot. He sees the ice well but tends to be slow when it comes to making plays, especially passes. He will sometimes try to make a pass too late and it will result in a turnover but his passes come from good ideas. He also could improve his defensive play.

    Last season, Petrov played 47 games in the KHL. There, he scored eight goals and finished the year with 19 points. He also played well in the playoffs scoring two goals and finishing with four points in six playoff games.

    If Petrov's decision-making can catch up to his natural ability and skill, the Isles have a very good player to look forward to in the future.

9. Brock Nelson

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    The Islanders still have top talent even in the number nine spot. Nelson is a few years away, but he has the potential to be a very good NHL player.

    Nelson is a good skater with good speed and acceleration for a player of his size. He is 6'2" and 205 pounds so he has decent NHL size. Nelson doesn't have many weaknesses that stand out as he plays in all zones fairly well. He has a great, quick shot that and is a shot first, pass second type of player. Nelson also is good in the faceoff circle. He has improved every year of his hockey career and playing in higher levels in the future should give us all a better idea of what he will become.

    Last season for the University of North Dakota last year. In 42 games, Nelson scored eight goals and finished with 21 points. Nelson is still a few years away but he should progress more and more each year.

10. Scott Mayfield

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    I really think the Isles got a steal when they took Mayfield with the 34th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft.

    Scott Mayfield is a defenseman who plays a physical game. He has good size (6'4", 197 pounds) and uses it to knock players off the puck. He plays well in tight situations and he doesn't force himself into making bad plays. Mayfield is also one of the best skating defenseman in this years draft. He makes very good passes and sees the ice well. He is also a power play quarterback which is something the Islanders could use. He has a good shot from the blue line and can also feed teammates down low.

    Last season, Scott Mayfield played for Youngstown in the USHL. There, Mayfield scored seven goals and finished with 16 points in 52 games.

    Mayfield will play at the University of Denver in 2011 so we will see if he improves his game there. He looks like he has the tools to be a good player. All he needs to do his show that he can improve his all around game.