Top 25 Islanders Under 25: They let a goalie in? Kevin Poulin at #7

Blip, or omen?

The occasion of a Kevin Poulin win this morning in Bridgeport -- Tim Wallace with the hat trick, including the OT winner -- is a good time to roll out perhaps the most hit-or-miss member of our Top 25 Under 25. What's clear from our voting (which took place before preseason) is all voters like Poulin as the Isles' top goaltending prospect.

What's not clear is where on earth you should rank goalie prospects, who as a rule are even harder to predict than defensemen or forwards. No one has a good handle on how to project goalie prospects; everyone just knows that you need them, because some of them do pan out, or at least hold the fort while you wait for saviors from left field.

In both the AHL and NHL last year, Poulin looked very good. In small samples, of course. This year he's off to a very rough start (4.29, .868, even smaller sample), and the back-of-mind question is whether the dislocated knee cap that ended his 2010-11 affects him now or is likely to affect him again in the future.

I don't really have a lot to say about Poulin, because goalies are notoriously unpredictable and should be viewed with suspicion like the cute raccoon on your back deck. He looked very good -- refreshingly good -- in his emergency appearances last season as Islanders goalies dropped left and right. But that was just seven starts in the NHL (2.44, .924), just enough to fool. To see him join the injury parade was discouraging to say the least.

This season Anders Nilsson has thrown his name into the Bridgeport equation and Mikko Koskinen looks to rebound from an ugly 2010-11. Bad start aside, it's still safe to say Poulin remains the most promising masked prospect.

Where he should rank among the Top 25 Under 25 is anybody's guess. And that's why we do this.


How We Voted

Top 25 Under 25 mikb M11 CIL Dom KQ Web/Mark
Kevin Poulin
13 12 3 9 7 6

For this first edition, we polled LHH authors Keith, WebBard (Mark D), mikb, myself, and two particularly prospect-focused LHH regulars, CanadianIslesLifer and MatthewM11. We wanted enough to get a decent number of voters but not so much that we make the first run unwieldy. It is absolutely unscientific but with varied enough votes to get us thinking about who are the best hockey players now, balanced with who has the best potential/value long-term.

The average of votes ranks him 7th on our list. You could say from those votes that either some of us pulled him up, or some of us pulled him down. Where do you have him?


Previous Posts in This Top 25 Islanders Under 25 Series

The Top 25 under 25 is an idea conceived by Oilers blog Copper & Blue and copied elsewhere, incorporated here by popular demand. We cut it off at players who were under 25 going into this season, so Andrew MacDonald, having just turned 25 this month, barely misses eligibility

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