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Young Islanders forwards who can make a bigger impact

Aug 12, 2012, 8:42 PM EDT

New York Islanders v Ottawa Senators Getty Images

At 21 years old, John Tavares is clearly the face of the New York Islanders.

Still, regular finishes in the East’s cellar furnished the team with plenty of other young players. For the team to take a big step forward, these offensive players need to progress:

Kyle Okposo – On the bright side, Okposo reached a career-high with 24 goals last season. Still, the team has a lot invested in the young power forward, so they’d love to see a larger jump in 2012-13.

Michael Grabner – The speedster’s breakout in 2010-11 presented the makings of a letdown, and 32 total points was disappointing (a -18 didn’t help, either). Still, he did manage 20 goals, so don’t discount his chances of bouncing back.

Josh Bailey – After scoring just 15 points in his first 61 games last season, Bailey finished on fire (17 points in 19 contests). That flourish partially came from moving to the wing, where the Isles would be wise to keep the 22-year-old forward.

Prospects

Ryan Strome – Could the fifth overall pick from 2011 leap into the NHL already? Even if he can’t, Strome seems on a path to becoming a go-to guy for Long Island.

Kirill Kabanov – The boisterous Russian winger should be on Garth Snow’s radar.

Brock Nelson – Great size, even better name.

***

Are there any other young scorers that need to bring more to the table for the Islanders?

Related

Islanders offseason report

At least they have Tavares

A look at Travis Hamonic

  1. polegojim - Aug 12, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    Agreed James – That is a VERY bright spin!

    • jl9830 - Aug 12, 2012 at 11:29 PM

      Go away.

  2. blomfeld - Aug 12, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    F Wang !

    F the Islanders !!

    F all of their stupid prospects !!!

    The bottom line is that our beloved game now appears to be barreling towards a cliff edge ? And unlike 2004, I unfortunately don’t like our chances this time around. Hopefully “common sense” will prevail over greed and ignorance ? If it doesn’t however, then I do fear that “darkness” may become our friend for a very long time …

    • velocirapist - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      Thanks for switching to the Stones!

  3. sergeikremlin - Aug 12, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Nino Neiderreiter deserves a mention somewhere in there. Arguably their top prospect still. If he can’t make the squad in top 6, he should really go to play an offensive role and big minutes in the AHL.

  4. charleslouis99 - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    Jon sim? lol jk jk

  5. bcisleman - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    Nino has been mentioned. He had a tough first year but should mature into a very good top 6. Casey Cizikas and David Ullstrom had promising debuts and should, along with Matt Martin, be the core of a very solid bottom 6. Anders Lee, Johan Sundstrom and David Persson are among the better prospects in the system not named.

  6. withseidelinn - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    Didn’t that Neiderreiter kid score 1 point in 52 games or something? Great top prospect you have there…

    • withseidelinn - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:44 AM

      My bad, it was 55 games, and he was a -29

    • bcisleman - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:26 PM

      Kid’s 19. He isn’t exactly the only prospect to ever struggle at first in the NHL. He’ll be fine.

  7. theboysofdallas - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Islanders are gonna be a good team in 2-3 years mark it down

  8. dutchman45 - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    As along time fan and a Island resident over 31years, I will miss the talent when our inept politicians cause the team to move. Kate Murray, Ed Mangano are clueless and incompetent.

    • bcisleman - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:30 PM

      Consensus seems to be that government $ will be needed for anything o hapen in Uniondale. Depending on what happens in November, a federal stimulus package for central Nassau may be the last hope for keeping the Isles there. Otherwise its Brooklyn or Queens.

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