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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Final Season Player Rankings Part 3

If you haven't looked at my previous two entries, feel free to take a look at them before you take a look at this one. Those were about the Islanders goalies and defensemen, now it's time to take a look at the Isles forwards from this past season. I'll only be ranking the forwards that played in at least 20 games this past season, so players like Casey Cizikas and Trevor Gillies won't be rated just yet. I'll be using the same 0-100 scale that I used for the defensemen here. Some Islanders had career years, others...not so much. Take a look at how the Islanders forwards fared this past season.

#25 Nino Niederreiter 62/100

Photo Credit: espn.com
After being sent back to the WHL after 9 NHL games in his rookie season, the Islanders wanted to keep 19 year old Niederreiter with the big club his season. To put it lightly, Nino's first full season in the NHL didn't even come close to matching anyone's expectations. Looking back on it, the Islanders would probably wish they sent him back to Portland again after 9 games. His ranking is low because he was an offensive threat in every league he played in so far besides the NHL. For a player that played in 55 games, Nino's numbers are just dreadful. He scored only one goal, and that was his only point of the season. His -29 in the +/- category doesn't help his cause. Also, he did spend a lot of time playing with Marty Reasoner and Jay Pandolfo, who aren't offensive threats. I'd expect him to play in Bridgeport for a while in the near future, as when players have played there, they come up and really help the team. Nino's NHL future looks bright, but just be patient, because it will take a few seasons.

#16 Marty Reasoner 59/100 

Photo Credit: espn.com
The Isles didn't make too many free agent signings before the 2011-12 season. However, one of the moves they did make was to sign the veteran centerman Reasoner to a two year contract. To put it lightly, his numbers were just miserable in his first year on Long Island. In 2010-11 with the Panthers, Reasoner had 32 points (14-18-32) while playing in all 82 games, and even had a +2 ranking. This year, Reasoner only played in 61 games, was a healthy scratch for plenty of the ones he missed, and didn't score a goal until the final week of the season. This season was the worst year of his career stastically (1-5-6), a -25 ranking was 8 worse than any of his previous career lows in the +/- category. He wasn't the Zenon Konopka type guy the Islanders were looking for when they signed him. Next year will be a pivotal year for Reasoner because if he can't rebound from this past season, then I can't think of an NHL team that has a need for a 35 year old has-been forward.

Jay Pandolfo Jay Pandolfo #29 of the New York Islanders skates against the Boston Bruins at the Webster Bank Arena on October 1, 2011 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The Bruins defeated the Islanders 3-2.
Photo Credit: Zimbio.com
#29 Jay Pandolfo 60/100 

After 13 years with the New Jersey Devils, the Islanders agreed to give the veteran one more shot at the NHL. Pandolfo didn't even have a contract until the week before Opening Night. Forgetting his numbers for a minute, Pandolfo does deserve credit for making it back to the NHL and being nominated for the Bill Masterton trophy. This award is given to a player who shows qualities of perseverence, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. He put his heart and soul into every game this season, and even though I don't think the Isles will bring him back, I believe they made the right move signing Pandolfo. He was a valuable veteran leader for a team of young guys,  a great penatly killer, and even moved to center from wing for a while when it was necessary. I won't go into his numbers as his ranking should give away his numbers for you. (They weren't good.) Whether or not Pandolfo plays again is a mystery, but we can thank him for this past season's hard work and dedication.

Photo Credit: zimbio.com
#41 David Ullstrom 70/100

Out of all the prospects that made their NHL debuts with the Islanders this past season, I think David Ullstrom was the best. From the first game he came up, he immediatley fit into the Isles system. He wasn't afraid to drive to the net, unlike other players who would sit back and wait for the play to develop in front of them. Ullstrom made the plays and played like he'd been in the NHL for years. A mid-season concussion may have hurt his development, but he still showed why he could be a good NHL forward in the years to come. He only played in 29 games, yet he registered 8 points (4-4-8), and helped the Isles powerplay get more opportunities. I would expect Ullstrom to get more than 29 games in the NHL next year, and I really think that he will make a significant impact on the ever-maturing Islanders.

#26 Matt Moulson 88/100

Photo Credit: espn.com
Over the past three seasons, there has been no Islander that has been as consistant as Matt Moulson. He has never, not even one time, missed a game for the Islanders, playing in all 82 for each of the past three seasons, not missing one single game. Moulson has also been the Islanders most consistant goal scorer, scoring at least 30 goals in each of those three seasons, culminating with his 36 goal performance last season, ranking him 10th in the entire NHL. He was even a +1 in the +/- category for the season, which is nothing short of spectacular on a team that allowed 52 more goals than they scored. At the current pace Moulson is at, he should be in like for around 80 points next season if everything goes according to plan. Objective #1 would have to be to sign PA Parenteau, but we'll get to him later. Last season, Matt Moulson was the best Islander not named John Tavares. He is a premier goal scorer and he proved that he can keep up the pace at an elite level. For Moulson, the sky is the limit. On a separate note, he is a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy. This is awareded to the player that exhibits great sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct along with a high standard of playing ability. With only six penalty minutes over the whole season, I wouldn't be too suprised if Moulson wins the award. He deserves it. Matt Moulson will be a force to be reckoned with for the next few seasons.

#17 Matt Martin 75/100 

Photo Credit: nyislanders.com
This season, I think Matt Martin would have to be one of the most improved Isladners. The first major stat that needs to be brought up when talking about Martin is hits. This past season, Martin had 374 hits,  81 more than anyone else in the league. Divide that by the 80 games he played in, and that gives him 4.6 hits per game, which is a very impressive number. He is the biggest physical threat in the NHL, and if he can countinue to do this next season, he will be a very successful pro. Add 14 points (7-7-14) to the mix and you get a solid NHL player. His offense has improved from the previous season, and if it continues to improve, he'll be a consistant and valuable player and physical threat for these Islanders, who don't have any big threats besides Martin. I was very pleased with Martin's game last season, and I can't wait to see what he brings in the years to come. 

That's it for the first half of the forwards. I'll do the other forwards in a separate entry when I can. What do you think of these ratings? I'd love to hear your opinions in the comments section. 

Lets Go Islanders!!! 

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