Top 10 New York Islanders Prospects 2023-24

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When you trade every first-round pick you have for three straight years, it will be difficult to have a lot of big-name, high-end prospects in your system.

That is precisely the case for the New York Islanders.

Sending first-round picks in trades for JG Pageau, Kyle Palmieri, and now Bo Horvat has significantly set the Islanders farm back.

But Ken Morrow and the Islanders scouting groups have found some promise in the later draft rounds to make the Islanders prospect pool not all that bad.

Related Page: 1995 – Present NHL Entry Draft Picks

Let’s take a look.

#1: Matt Maggio

(RW, 5th round pick, 2022)

A late bloomer? After a point per game plus an over-aged season in the OHL in 2021-22, the Islanders selected the then 19-year-old in the 5th round. Maggio would go on to rip up the OHL leading the league tallying 111 points in 66 games en route to winning the Red Tilson Trophy awarded to the OHL’s most outstanding player.

Maggio will start the year in Bridgeport but projects to be a top-six, high-end winger in the NHL due to his high-end speed and shot.

#2: William DuFour

(RW, 5th round, 2020)

Another late bloomer? A monstrous age 19 campaign in the QMJHL saw DuFour collect 116 points through 66 games while also capturing some hardware. DuFour and the Saint John Sea Dogs took home the Memorial Cup, while DuFour was awarded tournament MVP and QMJHL MVP.

DuFour grabbed 48 points in 69 games in his first-year pro in Bridgeport this past season.

An elite shot with good hands and hockey sense. His skating abilities hold him back, which will project him to be a middle-six scoring winger. He should see some time with the Islanders at some point in the upcoming season.

#3: Ruslan Iskhakov

(C, LW, 2nd round, 2018)

The first natural center on our list and possibly the most excitingly talented player in the system. The 22-year-old, 5’7″ Russian centermen posted 51 points in his first American pro season last year in Bridgeport. He earned an AHL All-Star vote.

Ruslan is incredibly smart, skates well, and scores at an effective rate. His defensive game will continue to improve on American ice. The Islanders are quite deep up the middle, which will impede Iskhakov’s ability to crack an NHL spot, but he still should see a call-up at some point this season for the Islanders.

#4: Isaiah George

(LHD, 4th round, 2022)

Our first defenseman on our list, and not for lack of trying.

George is an all-around fundamentally sound, two-way defenseman.

Playing for the London Knights this past season in the O, George put up 22 points in 54 games while also dealing with some injury trouble. It appears there isn’t much of a weakness to his game which projects the 19-year-old as a future 2nd pair blue-liner.

#5: Danny Nelson

(C, 2nd round, 2023)

Danny Nelson is our youngest player on the list and could be a lot higher, but with no pro hockey experience, the #5 slot seems fair.

Nelson was the Islanders 2nd round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft just a handful of weeks ago. Nelson embodies everything a top-end NHL center-man possesses. Strong frame, a big body, and a great hockey sense. Nelson is set to attend the University of Notre Dame and, if all goes right, should mold into a reliable two-way, 3rd line center in the show.

#6: Calle Odelius

(LHD, 2nd round, 2022)

Odelius was the Isles 2nd round pick in 2022. Many scouts thought that Odelius could’ve and probably should’ve been a 1st round pick, but that just wasn’t the case, as he fell all the way to the Islanders at 65th overall.

Odelius is a modern-day, puck-moving defenseman who skates very well 200 feet.

He struggled at times last season in Sweden during his age 18 season.

His future remains up in the air as he has decided to stay in Sweden for the 2023-24 season.

He projects as a legitimate 2nd pair, powerplay QB D-man in the NHL if it all comes to fruition.

#7: Justin Gill

(C, 5th round, 2023)

Can Justin Gill be another late bloomer for the Islanders? Can he be DuFour/Maggio 2.0? Another 5th round pick who lit up junior hockey as an over-ager.

Gill tallied 93 points over 68 games in the Q last season during his age 19-20 season.

He hopes to crack the Bridgeport roster this upcoming season.

If anything comes from Gill, you could expect a solid depth forward.

#8. Daylan Kuefler

(LW, 6th round, 2022)

You might notice a common trend by now. Late round picks that put up good numbers as an over-ager. Not the best trend to have for a prospect core, but anyways, yep, you guessed it, Daylan Kuefler is another guy that fits that description.

Drafted as a young 20-year-old in 2022, he would go on for 61 points in 54 games playing for the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League.

Kuefler is an old over-ager which makes his future progression hard to predict.

He inked his ELC with the Islanders this past May and should be a top-six winger in Bridgeport this season.

Predicting his future NHL status is tough. Maybe, he turns out to be a real solid third-liner. The future will tell, but it is a big season ahead for him up the I-95.

#9: Jesse Nurmi

(LW, 4th round, 2023)

With Lou Lamoriello’s 2nd pick at this past June’s draft in Nashville, the Islanders selected Finnish forward Jesse Nurmi.

Nurmi put up really solid international and U20 numbers in Finland.

He is scheduled to make the jump to Liiga (the top Finnish league) next season.

If he can have success there, he could be over in North America as soon as his contract in Finland expires after the 2024-25 season.

He can project to be a depth forward at the NHL level, for now.

#10. Eetu Liukas

(LW, 5th round, 2021)

Eetu Liukas is certainly the least skilled hockey player on this list, and maybe that’s why he is here at #10, but there is, without a doubt, a path to the NHL for the 20-year-old Finnish winger.

Liukas isn’t a high-end point-getter, but he did clip 23 points in 58 games last season in Liiga.

He has a large 6’3” frame, and he isn’t afraid to use it. That’s his biggest tool.

Compared to Casey Cizikas by scouts should be all that needs to be heard by Isles fans to get excited about the kid.

He signed his ELC with the Islanders this past June, but it remains unclear if he will stay another year in Finland or come to Bridgeport now.

Regardless, Liukas projects to be a fan favorite, 4th line winger.

Honorable Mentions:

Tristian Lennox (G)

Alex Jefferies (LW)

Arnaud Durandeau (LW)

So, to sum up this list, there are no high-end 1st round picks in the system, and although that looks and surely can be concerning, that’s okay.

The Islanders will need progression and development from these players over the next handful of years to make impacts at the big club.

With Brent Thompson leaving the Bridgeport Islanders coaching staff last week, newly appointed AHL head coach Rick Kowalsky has an important job as any to mold the future of the New York Islanders.

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