Prospect Report 5/1/12: Islanders Top Prospects #15-11
Most of the Islanders’ top prospects have had their season come to a close so it seems like a perfect time to count down the top 15 prospects from this past season. I will start from number 15 and work my way up to the top prospect in the Islanders system. I won’t be counting the Islanders prospect that started and played most of the season in the AHL. Now let’s get this thing rolling!
#15 Jason Clark – Forward, University of Wisconsin (NCAA) 6’-2” 190lbs
Jason had a quiet year for the Badgers playing in just 21 games and only recording one assist. This was Clark’s sophomore season and it seems he is still looking to find his way in college hockey. Clark is pretty good size for a forward and needs to start using it more in order to help his development. Since this past year was only his sophomore season I fully expect Jason to return to Wisconsin for another season next fall and hopefully show more of the skill the Islanders hoped for when they drafted him.
#14 Tony DeHart – Defenseman, Stockton Thunder (ECHL) 6’-2” 202lbs
Tony played 46 games this season for the Stockton Thunder collecting 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists). Tony also finished the season on the plus side of his +/- rating with a +1. Following in the gentleman’s side of playing this season DeHart only had 22 PIMs this season and none in 8 playoffs games this season. For a defenseman to keep his penalty minutes low and stay on the plus side of a plus/minus rating is a good mix to have. (Photo Credit: Flickr/Derek Marques)
This was DeHart’s first season of professional hockey after a long junior hockey career. DeHart will need to have a strong offseason and a good training camp with the Islanders in order to help him advance in his hockey career. If DeHart comes out and has a good camp you can expect to see him in Bridgeport next season.
#13 Mitchell Theoret – Forward, Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL) 6’-1” 210lbs
Mitchell is one of the few Islanders prospects that is still playing in the playoffs. The Ice Dogs are currently preparing to play in the OHL Championship and Theoret has been a good piece in their run for the championship. In 12 games so far this postseason Mitchell has 6 points (3 goals, 3 assist) to go along with a regular season that saw him play in 62 games and score 21 points (12 goals, 9 assist).
Theoret is a physical grinder type player that the Islanders would love to have in the future. He plays tough minutes battling in front of the net and in the corners. This is Mitchell’s 3rd season in juniors and that would allow him if needed to return to Niagara next season. This is another prospect where their future depends upon how rookie and training camps go this summer. If he can prove to the Islanders coaching staff that he is ready for the next step then I am sure they will find a spot for him on Bridgeport.
#12 Robbie Russo – Defenseman, University of Notre Dame (NCAA) 6’-0” 189lbs
Russo just finished a successful freshman season for Notre Dame this past winter where he found himself named the team’s rookie of the year. In 40 games this season for the Irish, Russo scored 15 points (4 goals, 11 assist). Russo led the Irish’s power play this past season as all 4 of his goals were with the man advantage. Russo was also named to the CCHA’s All-Rookie team.
Russo is a promising prospect with a bright future; he is ranked lower on this list because I feel he needs at least one more season at Notre Dame and then a full season in the AHL before he is ready to see the NHL. This seems like a long time to wait for Islanders fans but always remember good things come to those who wait and if Russo stays on the right track he will be a great asset for the Islanders.
#11 John Persson – Forward, Red Deer Rebels/Bridgeport Sound Tigers (WHL/AHL) 6’-2” 210lbs
John was able to play a full season with his junior team before being invited to join the Sound Tigers for the close of their season and their run in the playoffs. With Red Deer this season Persson had a successfully season where playing in 70 games he was able to score 58 points (23 goals, 35 assist). When he joined Bridgeport he was able to continue his success on the score sheet scoring 8 points (4 goals, 4 assist) in 12 games. Persson only played in 2 of the Sound Tigers playoff games and was held scoreless. (Photo Credit: Twitter/@johnpersson21)
Persson will most likely report to Bridgeport at the start of next season to continually work on his game to prepare for the next step. He will need some more time to adjust to professional hockey and figure out what it takes to succeed. I think it will definitely be possible to see Persson get a call up next season towards the end of season if injuries occur on the Islanders.
Well Islanders fans that will do it for the first part of our list and keep checking The Checking Line Islanders Edition for the rest of the prospect rankings.
As always thanks for reading and feel free to comment below.
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