Prospect Report 6/26/12: The Newest Islanders Prospects

The 2012 NHL entry draft concluded this past weekend and with it came seven new prospects to the Islanders system. In a strange move by Garth Snow, the franchise picked all defenseman.

Most of these prospects are still a year or two away from wearing an Islanders jersey but here's a look at what the future might hold.

Many of you have heard about the first round selection Griffin Reinhart so we'll touch on the picks made during the second day of the draft.

In the second round (34th overall), the Islanders selected Ville Pokka from Karpat of the Finnish professional league. Pokka is already playing against men as a 17-year old and still was able to put up three assists in 35 games. 

The smaller (5-foot-11, 205 pounds) defenseman is known for his puck moving ability and will look to continue that with his development.

Rated by some to be a late first round pick, the Islanders certainly got value out of this pick.  (Photo Credit: tsn.ca)

In the third round (65th overall), the Islanders picked Adam Pelech from Erie of the OHL. Pelech was able to score two goals and 18 assists in 44 games last season for Erie.

Pelech is a gritty defenseman that is always determined to win. He will kill penalties, block shots, take space away and clear out the front of the net in order to help his team win.

His game isn’t always the prettiest but he always seems to be the right spot doing the right thing. A can’t lose attitude that the Islanders will love to have on the team in the future. (Photo Credit: tsn.ca)

In the fourth round (103rd overall), the Islanders picked Loic Leduc from Cape Breton of the QMJHL. Loic is considered by many to be a little bit of a project with great upside. There is one thing that can’t be taught and Loic has it: size. Loic came into the draft at 6-foot-1, 194 pounds.

In his second season with Cape Breton he was able to put up 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 65 games to go along with his 99 penalty minutes. If he continues to develop correctly he could turn into a very reliable shut down gritty defender that all teams need in the NHL.

In the fifth round (125th overall), Doyle Somerby joined the Islanders from Kimball Union high school in New Hampshire. In 31 games last season, Somerby was able to score 16 points.

He's another project similar to Leduc in where is he a large boy (6-foot-4, 232 pounds) and has a raw game that needs refining. He will enroll in Boston University this fall and start his college hockey career.

The sixth round (155th overall), bought Jesse Graham to the Islanders from Niagara from the OHL. Last season he was a top pairing defenseman on Niagara with Dougie Hamilton who was a top-10 pick last season.

He was able to score 41 points (four goals, 37 assists) in 68 games. Projected to be a third round pick, he fell into the Islanders lap. An excellent puck moving defenseman with great skating to go along with it will be a nice addition to the Islanders prospect pool.

In the seventh and final round (185th overall), the Islanders selected Jake Bischoff from Grand Rapids High School in Minnesota. He was able to score 38 points (11 goals, 27 assists) in 24 games last season. Jake will be another project but natural two-way instinct will be something that he can build on during his development.

The Islanders prospect pool was considered one of the best in the NHL leading up to the draft with some questions surrounding the depth of defensemen.

New York certainly answered that question with this draft selecting some solid prospects with tons of upside. Most of these prospects are already attending the Islanders prospect camp this week on Long Island and will play in the Blue and White scrimmage this Thursday night at Iceworks.

For those who are unable to make the game this week, it will be streamed live on the Islanders website. 

As always thanks for reading and be sure to keep checking in with The Checking Line-Islanders Edition all summer to keep up with all things Islanders.

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