John Persson's WHL season with Red Deer ended without playoffs, which may have been a blessing in disguise (or "blessing in the sky," as my nephew calls it) for the 5th-round (125th overall) 2011 draft pick.
It gave him the opportunity for an ATO trial look with the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers, something he and a portion of fans hope leads to a contract from the New York Islanders.
Persson turns 20 later this month. His 6'2", 211 lb. frame is an asset. His minus-9 this season stands in stark contrast to a plus-37 last year but is a reflection of how different this year's Red Deer team was from last, with a month-long mid-winter winless streak sabotaging their season. The left wing's goal output dropped from 33 to 23 (in two more games, 70), his assists went from 28 to 35.
For our informal post-season self-survey, Persson squeaks in at 25 among the Islanders Top 25 Under 25.
You can see which other prospects just missed our top 25 in this preview post.
As you'll see with players in this range, there's enough difference of opinion -- and uncertainty -- that some of them made ballots and some didn't. To reflect the variety of ways you can place value on prospects with uncertain futures, we brought a range of philosophies to this: Some voters valued present talent/maturity more, some valued future potential more. All are averaged with the intent of capturing a moment in time in the evolution of the Islanders prospect pipeline.
Panelists: CanadianIslesLifer making a return appearance, as well as most of the authors at LHH.
Not surprisingly, in that Swedish profile of David Ullstrom we linked last week, Ullström spoke well of his countryman. Brent Thompson said "he's got something there." Persson, too, felt he impressed his coaches, telling CTPost beatwriter Michael Fornabaio:
Those two (playoff games) will help if I play (here), or even if I go back." Said he hasn’t been given an indication one way or the other. "I got good feedback, stuff like that. I hope to play here next year."
With most of these, we'll try to add what we've learned about the player since the last survey, taken in 2011 training camp. Last time, fresh off the draft, Persson didn't make our top 25. Then he opened the season on a scoring tear before going cold with the rest of his team.
In his 12 regular season games with Bridgeport, he put up 4-4-8, two shots per game and a +8 on a nice line -- enough to entice. Other than that, not much more was learned about Persson, so Thompson's summation seems adequate: "He's got something there."
As with all late-round picks, maybe we one day see it, maybe we don't. If we do, bonus. If the Islanders sign him, we'll have a much better idea of where he's headed this time next year.
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Create Your Own 25U25
There was interest in creating an even broader consensus 25U25 among the regulars here, and JPinVA has volunteered to do the consensus-ing. His instructions, if you have your own 25: