In the summer of 2009 the New York Islanders sent strong signals about their intentions to build multiple layers of insurance for Rick DiPietro's chronic health issues when they signed both Dwayne Roloson and Martin Biron in free agency and, prior to that at the draft, surprisingly selected goalies with two consecutive picks (Mikko Koskinen at 31, Anders Nilsson at 61).
But the deepening of the position in the shadow of DiPietro's 15-year commitment had already begun the summer before with the quieter selection of Kevin Poulin in the fifth round of the 2008 draft.
That selection flew a little under the radar: Poulin had
played just 16 games that season [ed.: Derp, next time don't misread the stats. He'd actually played 52, though with unremarkable stats of 3.69 and .887] for Victoriaville, and he was the 10th player the Islanders selected in what increasingly looks like a watershed draft.
Poulin is usually the highest rated of the three Islanders goalie prospects. Only a history of dislocated knee caps tempers the optimism associated with him. Like Nilsson he was an AHL Goalie of the Month in 2011-12, and like Nilsson he helped Bridgeport's surge up the standings after New Year's Day. For now, he ranks at #10 on our Top 25 Islanders Under 25.
How We Voted
We had a very wide spread in our votes on Poulin -- a reflection of confidence in his talent as well as concern for the knee injuries (forgive Islanders fans for getting nervous about goalie knees) and finally, my own distrust of how much we can believe in young goalies.
Chris, who had the high vote here, explains his rationale:
I know that of all the positions in the NHL, goalie is the biggest crap shoot. That's the reason why goalies are rarely picked in the first round and why a lot of goalies are superstars today, gone tomorrow.
But in Kevin Poulin I see something I haven't yet seen in most of the players on this list, and the reason for his Top 5 ranking by me. That something is the ability to be the long term solution at a particular position for the Islanders.
His numbers were slightly down this year but Poulin still showed me that, if necessary, he has the talent today to be a decent Number 1 goalie for the Isles. In a few years I think that decent Number 1 goalie could actually be an All-Star Number 1 goalie.
Panelists: CanadianIslesLifer making a return appearance, as well as most of the authors at LHH.
Note: For those LHH readers who sent their own selections in, JPinVA has them summarized in this FanPost. That one will be fun to measure against our panelists' results.
Related Links You'll See with Each 25U25 Post
You can see which other prospects just missed our top 25 in this preview post.
- At #25 was 2011 pick John Persson
- #24 saw another Swede from 2011, Johan Sundstrom
- At #23, the irritant known as Justin DiBenedetto
- #22: Kirill Petrov, with an asterisk
- #21: Brenden Kichton, Western late bloomer
- #20: Anders Lee, loophole guy?
- #19: Big Scott Mayfield
- #18: Rhett Rakshani, Queen of Funk
- #17: Aaron Ness, Mini-Me Rising
- #16: Anders Nilsson, Towering Thor
- #15: Kirill Kabanov, now a Proven Winner(TM)
- #14: Nino Niederreiter, historic rookie year
- #13: Calvin de Haan, please don't break
- #12: Brock Nelson hits the pro scene
- #11: David Ullstrom, Swede the Elder
- Our September 2011 25U25 Poll Results
To reflect the variety of ways you can place value on prospects with uncertain futures, we brought a range of philosophies to this poll, which ranks all Islanders (prospect or pro) under age 25: 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.