It's still a little early but there are signs from many of the Islanders prospects that they are simply not improving to a point where they are forcing management to give them a look and recall them and that's not good considering all the time and resouces that have been invested in them over several seasons. Steve Regier is making the best statistical impression outside of Tambellini who's play making skills seem to be improved but who will likely make the NHL for good based on his defense.
Fair or not I'm going by the numbers more than anything. If those who recall Trent Hunter finally was just called up and kept up, he seemed to do worse in the NHL when he was scoring in Bridgeport and better in the NHL when he was called up after struggling in Bridgeport.
In other words sometimes there is no logic.
Last year Ted Nolan did callup Jeremy Colliton, Blake Comeau, Frans Nielsen and Jeff Tambellini on several occasions. A year ago Ted Nolan felt Comeau would absoutely be an NHL player, now he's a negative rating player and he's not producing.
This year with the injury to Jon Sim, Bill Guerin, Bergenheim and Shawn Bates situtation we have seen one callup with any offensive ability and that's Ben Walter who briefly played on the fourth line outside of one quick cameo from Jeff Tambellini. Tim Jackman and Darryl Bootland have been given the opportunities over the prsopects the club has invested years in.
Meanwhile in terms of the numbers, Colliton, Comeau, Nielsen are not producing much in terms of goals. Tambellini has been in somewhat of a slump recently and the Islanders second round pick on defense in Dustin Kohn has been scratched on a few occasions.
When you include the slump Kyle Okposo has been in since he lost a winger on his line (he scored in a loss over the weekend) it's fair to ask the question is the club's youth movement at the crossroads?
Next season with so many pending free agents again for the Islanders these players have to step up and give management reason to think they are part of the long-term answer.
Garth Snow is going to need his first round pick next summer too.