AHL players have made a big difference in helping the Islanders throughout the years. Some may just have temporary stints with the team, but others find long-term roles with the team. With injuries a near certainty in the league, the Islanders will likely need the assistance of some of their AHL players at some point throughout the season. With that, here is a preview of three AHL players who could join the Islanders at some point in the 2021-22 season.
One of the biggest stories through the first two Islanders preseason games is the play of Robin Salo. Salo is a left-handed defenseman the Islanders selected in the second round of the 2017 draft. He just recently signed an entry-level deal with the team after his last season playing Liiga hockey. Salo has been highly regarded as a prospect, but with Bode Wilde and Samuel Bolduc playing the same position he hasn’t gotten a lot of attention.
With Wilde and Bolduc not participating in the preseason, Salo has gotten a chance to show his ability. Salo has made the most of that opportunity as he’s played very well in the preseason thus far. He’s looked like a natural on the ice, playing very poised on both sides of the puck. Even Noah Dobson praised his level of play so far, complimenting his vision and skating. Salo definitely has a future role with the Islanders given that two of their three left defensemen are well over 30 years old. But if Salo continues to play this well, he’ll be joining the team sooner rather than later.
Cole Bardreau is a player who’s no stranger to Islanders fans. He played 10 games with the Islanders in 2019 after the team struggled with some injuries. His signature moment was scoring his first goal via a penalty shot against the Senators in an Islanders win. Bardreau hasn’t had another NHL appearance since that 10 game stint in 2019, but that could change this year. The Islanders aren’t very deep at center past their starting four. With Travis Zajac retiring, Leo Komarov is really the only roster player who could currently slot in.
If something were to happen to any of the starting four, Bardreau would be a near guarantee to be called up. He’s one of the best offensive centers the Islanders have in Bridgeport and has the benefit of previous NHL experience. Barring a trade or signing, Bardreau will likely see some more playing time this season if the Islanders struggle with an injury like they did before Bardreau’s first stint.
Anatoli Golyshev is a very interesting player the Islanders have available to them this season. Golyshev was a 2016 fourth-round draft pick who left Russia to join the Islanders late last season. He was never much of a high-profile prospect, but he does have some potential to offer the team. His best attribute is his ability to find a teammate in a great position when passing the puck. Golyshev also is a solid goal scorer, although his numbers have been on a decline since scoring over 20 in some of his early years. He’s gotten some work in with the Islanders in the preseason but has been relatively unnoticeable.
Golyshev’s potential is real, but it’s not yet clear if he’ll adjust to the NHL game. However, given the lack of good scoring talent in Bridgeport, he’s a prime candidate to get an opportunity should the Islanders need some wing depth. At best he could be a productive third-line winger for the team. At worst, he can be a Michael Dal Colle-like player who won’t lose the team games, but won’t add much to the offense.
Featured image courtesy of NHL
Check out our NHL page for more updates!
‘From our Haus to yours’