Today's final season review is on Islanders left wing Blake Comeau.
Blake Comeau entered 2007-08 as a prospect who got a limited look in 2006 but if many folks recall before Robert Nilsson & Ryan O'Mara were traded that Ted Nolan felt he he was the prospect with the best overall ability to compete at the NHL level in the future when he visited Bridgeport to watch games.
Comeau was called up in December after a slow start with the Sound Tigers and again the Islanders coach made it clear he felt Comeau's overall game was best suited for the NHL. From the beginning he not disappoint, showing a level of skill, composure and instincts that looked like he can help an NHL team with just a solid overall game.
Most important he was visible because of how hard he skated which on this team was badly lacking collectively.
He had the big goal in a December win against Pittsburgh but what was most impressive was how visible he was with and without the puck, how he worked to get into position to make plays in all three zones that do not appear on a scoresheet but help a team win, Comeau also displayed an ability to throw a big hit or two to shake up the opposition as he did against Montreal.
2007-08 on the stat sheet will not tell us the full story of his impact because for a fair part of the time he saw limited minutes and played with a lot of other prospects, but one area that will was his plus minus where he was a plus one on a team that was terrible at even strength.
Only problem I saw with Blake Comeau's game was the drop in his play when he was suddenly switched from left wing to right wing for a good fifteen games when Jeff Tambellini got called up. He was not the same player and did not look confident in what he was doing like he was out of synch on another wing.
It should be noted Comeau played right wing in juniors but I did not see him play the right side for Bridgeport, that sudden switch seemed to effect him. He was moved back to the left side after and almost immediately regained the forum he showed earlier.
Blake Comeau should be a big part of the Islanders next season as his role increases. He's been praised top to bottom by the veterans, his coach, general manager for his hard work. The production has to improve and should as he earns more time with the top line forwards. With Sim, Bergenheim, Tambellini and other players the left side is loaded but no standout offensive performer is among the group.
Blake Comeau flat out looks like an NHL player who is only going to get better, he was one of the most visible forwards on the team nightly and stats aside proved he not only belongs here but can be an impact player.
Comeau gets an A.