Friday, August 3, 2018

31 Teams in 31 Days - New York Islanders

Just one OHL prospect for the Islanders, a player taken at this year's NHL draft.

1. Blade Jenkins - Saginaw Spirit
Jenkins had a very successful first OHL season after transferring from the U.S. Development Program last summer. His 20 goals were tied for second on the Spirit and he led the team in even strength points with 36. Jenkins excels as a power forward type who can drive the net and do the grunt work down low. Really like how aggressive he is in going hard to the net, with and without the puck. He knows his role. Will eventually be a very good powerplay producer because of this. I felt like Jenkins' ability to carry the puck and his confidence in creating his own scoring chances really grew as the season went on. His skating was certainly not as bad as it was advertised either. That said, improvements will need to be made here, especially in those first few steps to allow him to explode off the wall and be a more consistent factor away from the puck. He flashes a physical game and I'd also like to see him really explore that further, to really be a tough guy to match up against who can use his size, aggressiveness, and skill to produce offensively. Lastly, I'm looking for him to work on his shot and his confidence in using it. Teams started to play off of him later in the year, as they knew he'd be looking to drive the net, never keeping them honest by showing that shooting or passing touch. But I was a little shocked to see Jenkins fall to the 5th and I think the Isles scooped up a nice prospect here. He'll return to Saginaw next year, a team that should be improved. A 30/35, point per game season is a very reasonable projection at this point, given the talent he'll have around him.

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