Longtime readers here know our (mostly) annual Top 25 Under 25 ranking of young New York Islanders players and prospects is a pursuit fraught with philosophical conflict, debate over the merits of existing pros versus prospects we swear are more ready than the team will admit...and then over here you have goalies.
We just finished another rundown of the Isles system before they add a few more assets at this weekend's draft. As promised earlier in the countdown, below is a historic look at all of our rankings in previous years.
It's fun to look at these for historical perspective and for general mockery -- I BELIEVED in Kabanov, man -- but it's also worth noting that:
- With a few exceptions, these rankings weren't terribly controversial at the time.
- They were contemporarily affected by things like injuries (e.g. Calvin de Haan's stock dipped as his injuries recurred), contract fears (other voters punished Anders Lee and Kirill Petrov for fear they'd never sign) and general position change and/or fan bias (e.g. Bailey, always).
There are surely gems of "Wait, you were counting on Katic?!" within the depths of the archives that follow, so I'll just leave you with this thought from #25 in 2011:
Is Klementyev really at a level where today or later he'll be more valuable than a Justin DiBenedetto or a Tyler McNeely? I don't know.
Ahhh, the clever insight about bottom-of-the-pipeline minutiae that brings you to LHH each day.
In the table below, the links at the top go to the final post in each series, which include links to the write-ups on the rest of the players in that series. The links in the final row go to those who didn't make that particular 25U25 cut, which can be entertaining -- there are names there you've surely forgotten, as well as names who appeared on later iterations either by progress or by default.
Meanwhile, you definitely see the maturation of the rebuild, and why the Islanders are now in a situation where the salary cap matters: Their young core has aged out (and is in their high earning years), while the second wave of prospects is making way for a new crop.
Have fun, mock your heart out, and bring on the draft.
|Spring 2016||Spring 2014||Spring 2013||2012||Summer 2011|
|5||Dal Colle||de Haan||Nelson||Bailey||Strome|
|13||Vande Sompel||Cizikas||Hickey (!)||de Haan||Donovan|
|etc.||Outsiders||Here and here||Outsiders||Not quite||Outsiders|