Prospect Report 2/15/12: 2011 Late Round Edition

In this edition of the prospect report I will take a look at two more late round draft picks of the Islanders to see if Garth Snow has found any hidden gems. Mitchell Theoret and Johan Persson are two forwards currently playing junior hockey with hopes of one day making it to the Islander’s line-up.

Mitchell Theoret was drafted in 7th round (185th overall) during the 2011 draft. The left winger is currently playing on the Niagara Ice Dogs with Ryan Strome another Islanders prospect.  In 47 games so far this season Theoret has scored 10 goals to go along with 6 assist.  Known to be more of a grinder type player these numbers aren’t bad for a player of his style.

Theoret still has a lot to learn during his time at Niagara but it all part of the process. Theoret was the youngest player selected in the 2011 draft and is still only 19 years old which leaves him a little more time to learn and develop. One of Mitchell’s biggest assets is that he is a hard worker that is able to play any style the coach would call for. This will give him the best chance to make the NHL and become an asset to the Islanders future. Theoret isn’t big compared to NHL standards (6’-1” 210lbs) but he is a tough, hardnosed player that will be an excellent energy player in the future. If he can continue his development and work hard, I can see him becoming a Matt Martin type player for the Islanders. Theoret will finish out this season with Niagara and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Islanders sent him back there again next season for some more development.

Johan Persson was taken in the 5th round (125th overall) during the 2011 draft. Also a winger, Johan is in the middle of his 3rd season with the Red Deer Rebels. This season Persson has scored 19 goals and 29 assists in 54 games. Persson has an advantage against most defenseman in the WHL as he is a big physical forward that can dominate in the corners. Persson is 6’-2” and 211lbs which allows him to have this advantage. Persson had a break-out season last year with Red Deer as he was able to play on a line with the 1st overall draft pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins which led to him having 33 goals and 28 assist. This shows that with the right line-mates he can be a good asset.

Persson still has a lot to learn at the junior level before he is NHL ready. He is relying on his size too much to give him an advantage which works at the junior level but he is simply not big enough for it to work at the NHL level. If he can learn to use his skills in other ways he should be able to make it into the NHL. Persson will finish out this season in the WHL and during camp this summer the Islanders will surly take a long hard look at Persson to see if he is ready to have a shot at Bridgeport. I think Persson would need at least a full season at Bridgeport if not more to learn how to play against bigger stronger players in order to prepare for the NHL.

Both of these prospects have upside that could help the Islanders in the future but they both need to continue to work hard in order to achieve their goals of playing in the NHL. The remainder of this season along with a good camp this summer will mean a lot to both of these prospects.

As always, thanks for reading and feel free to comment below about other prospects you would like me to take a look at.

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