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New York Islanders Top 25 Under 25: At #6, Shane Prince nice add for a 3rd-round pick

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The Pedan pick pays off in Prince.

I *did* mean to cause you any pain, as a matter of fact.
I *did* mean to cause you any pain, as a matter of fact.
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

As you've no doubt noticed if you've followed along our Spring 2016 Top 25 Under 25, the Islanders' supply of high-end young talent has taken a hit as several players have aged off this list. The rebuild has matured, the days of easy additions of top-of-the-draft talent a think of the past.

So adding a help-you-now 23-year-old like Shane Prince for a third-round pick (the one fetched for Andrey Pedan) was a smooth move by general manager Garth Snow.

A top-line guy, like he was thrust into upon his debut next to John Tavares? Of course not. But a useful forward who improves the forward depth and versatility right out of the box? Certainly.

That puts him in the grey area of our ranking: never as valuable as their top current under-25 forwards or the couple of high-end prospects in the system, but being a play-influencing NHLer right now gives him the nod over other prospects who might never establish NHL careers.

Prince's acquisition was praised by the analytic types, including those in Ottawa who saw him confusingly underused by a bad Senators squad. It was a head-scratcher for those expecting something bigger, or for those who noted his scratches and low production there.

While playoff samples are small and can be misleading, we saw in his post-season performance how he can be a good piece of the puzzle going forward. Now, for the Isles to put a price on that as the player hits restricted free agency.

How We Voted (and Some Why)

King (CIL) Keith Mike B. McNally Garik Dominik Leboff Les
9
6
7
6 4
6
6
9

David King (CanadianIslesLifer):

Love his speed and ability to drive play. For the most part. displays good gap control and defensive awareness. An ideal 4th liner who can spare someone in the top 9. Will he evolve into an elite, or even a middle 6 offensive producer? It's possible, but if he doesn't (the more likely scenario at this point), you still have a useful NHLer. This is a good return for the 3rd round pick the Islanders acquired trading Andrey Pedan to Vancouver.

Keith:

Great under-the-radar pickup with speed and some snarl for a small guy. Seems to have Grabneritis. He should get that looked at.

Mike B.:

I loved this trade and think Prince can net 15 goals and 25-30 assists with the right usage.

McNally:

The Islanders' HUGE trade deadline acquisition everyone was waiting for, he is more than worth the draft pick Garth Snow gave up for him. Prince was able to improve his offensive numbers in all 3 season in the AHL. Will that translate into big time NHL scoring? Probably not. But if he can improve like he did in the AHL, he can probably give you Josh Bailey numbers, but with the drive and hustle you want out of an NHL player.

Garik16:

He was bad for the Isles in the regular season, but looked far better in the playoffs. He was great for Ottawa. Is he a star in making? Almost certainly not, but he's likely a useful player, and I have him at #4 mainly due to so many better players graduating or not being at the NHL level yet.

Leboff:

One, two, princes kneel before you
That's what I said, now
Princes, Princes who adore you
Just go ahead, now
One has diamonds in his pockets
That's some bread, now
This one, said he wants to buy you rockets
Ain't in his head, now

Les (HockeyGoalieEh):

Shane Prince came by way of Ottawa after getting scratched by a coaching staff that had no use for a youth movement. His advanced stats were great. He came to the Islanders and those stats were rather mediocre. He did well in a limited showing with Alan Quine and Ryan Strome in the playoffs, so that line was pathetically broken up by a coaching staff that overreacts and buys into narratives over performance. I count him as one of many players that I don't think can advance under the current coaching administration.

Previously in the Top 25 Under 25