New York Islanders Top 25 Under 25: At #14, Sebastian Collberg, like Thomas Vanek except not

"I hear the Isles would have taken mej..." - Justin K. Aller

But this isn't Tyler Toffoli. I was told I could get Tyler Toffoli.

After failing to get his name on a contract, the New York Islanders flipped pending unrestricted free agent Thomas Vanek -- perhaps you heard the story already -- to Montreal for a second round pick and a their 2012 second-round pick (33rd overall) Sebastian Collberg.

We didn't know what they got then, we don't know what they have now -- there wasn't much left of the Swedish season at the time of the NHL trade deadline, and Collberg reportedly finished the season with an injury.

We do know the Isles liked Collberg two years ago -- when Collberg was selected just before they drafted VIlle Pokka -- and that he remained a well-regarded prospect during his two years as Canadien property. But the skilled Swede has not yet shown he can duplicate his skill against his own age group in the proverbial "playing with men" setting.

The promise of skill and the unknown of a kid who turned 20 in February lands him at 14 on our Top 25 Islanders Under 25 countdown. Where will see him this time next year is anybody's guess, one likely subject to some testing in AHL Bridgeport.

I'm guilty of Show-Me State behavior, so although Collberg has some assets and positive reviews, I remain in full wait-and-see mode and was his harshest voter from our panel:

CIL Keith Mike B. Mark Mike L. Chris Dom
17 13 11 14 15 11 21

Here is what some of the others said, beginning with some meta-sass from Mr. Quinn...


This is a total guess because I haven't seen him, heard mostly "meh" things about him, and he hurt his sniping shoulder. Other than that, the Vanek trade is (700 comments later)...


Collberg gets a heavily biased jump up a few spots due to my 2014 frustrations with a couple veterans of this list, but that still doesn't mean I'm not high on the Swedish winger.

He's got a sniper's shot, and is good in traffic with the puck, but lacks a strong defensive game. He hasn't been able to find a steady role in the SEL, but when he plays against his own age group he shines. A move to Bridgeport should allow a chance at regular minutes, and a chance to show he belongs in the pros.

Mike B.:

This (11th) is a little high, but I think he'll recover from his injuries and that he'll be productive. Also, rumor is that the Isles would have taken him instead of Pokka if Montreal hadn't grabbed him one spot earlier - so he has already indirectly benefited the team.


Top six or bust. Has speed, good hands, can shoot, is that coveted right shot that can score Isles lack on the right side. However, Collberg is small and not physical at all. He is a raw prospect with high-end offensive potential.

Time will tell if Collberg pans out, but if he doesn't become a goal scorer at the NHL level, he likely busts as he doesn't appear to have the atributes needed to be refurbished into a bottom 6, defensive player.

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