Islanders BIts: Here come the prospects, still rated near the top of the NHL

Now he gets to put on skates. - Jamie Squire

Islanders development camp begins this week for a group that positions the team as one of the top youth pipelines in the NHL.

Sunday afternoon we had a roundup of general free agency moves and coverage. This morning's links have a more Islanders-centric focus as young prospects arrive in town for this week's development camp:

The Times got a rare interview with Charles Wang on the move to Brooklyn and not-so-rare quotes from Brett Yormark:

"If I really wanted to sell, the team would have been sold," said Wang, who paid $187.5 million for the Islanders in 2000 but has lost millions of dollars since then.

And Wang’s message to dedicated Islanders fans from Babylon or Patchogue fretting about having to splurge for Long Island Rail Road tickets to Brooklyn?

"The cup is not half empty; it’s full because the Islanders are still here," he said. "My advice is to give the train a try."

New acquisition Pierre-Marc Bouchard wanted to thank fans and staff from his only other NHL home (also note the reminder that it was Nate Thompson's hit that started his concussion issues):

Now he heads to the young, rising Islanders, who made life difficult on the Penguins in last season’s playoffs, and hopes to rekindle his game on a one-year contract so he can gain more security next summer on a new deal.

"They’re really young and they’re going in the right direction," Bouchard said. "They made the playoffs last year. They have a lot of speed, a lot of skill. I think it’s a good fit for my kind of game."

The official site has reactions from the Waterloo draft picks and their coach:

Before heading underneath the stands, he had to, well, cheat a little.

"I had to look at the draft board again real quick, because it occurred to me that Eamon just got drafted there," Cammarata said. "It took a few minutes for a realization to set in."

After the draft, Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus resets his organizational prospect rankings:

Ryan Strome remains a top prospect, Brock Nelson had a strong year in the AHL, Griffin Reinhart had a quality season in the WHL, and drafting Ryan Pulock was a big addition. I have become more bearish on winger Kirill Kabanov, but one prospect does not change the Islanders' picture much. New York has several top talents, and many good prospects throughout the organization.

Of course, if and when Strome and/or Nelson become NHL regulars, they'll drop out of the equation. (And of course, if they are helping the NHL team, that's better than boosting the team's prospect rankings.)

Here is Pronman's Eastern and Western Conference reviews of the 2013 Draft, including:

The Islanders brought in a quality amount of talent in this draft class. I'm not crazy about how early they went after McAdam although it is reasonable to think he would have been gone by 106. Pulock, Cammarata, Quine, and Crus Rydberg are all very gifted players, and if the Islanders truly hit on any, this could be a good draft class. Of course, these players all carry moderate to above-average risk as well so there is downside to this class, too.

Chris Botta discusses the Isles move to Brooklyn for WFUV radio.

And in non-Isles content, Scott Cullen at TSN does a nice job analyzing off-season moves in general. Here he is on the Stephen Weiss signing in Detroit, a signing I liked -- though I can't believe he is already 30(!):

Signed for five years and $24.5-million, Weiss will be well-compensated and it's possible that, by the end of it, he may not be providing ideal value, but so long as there aren't lingering effects from last year's wrist injury, Weiss should be a fine addition for the Red Wings. He's a year older than Valtteri Filppula, whom he effectively replaces...

Anyway, get ready for prospect bits this week as the youngsters all arrive:

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