At 21 years old, John Tavares is clearly the face of the New York Islanders.
Still, regular finishes in the East’s cellar furnished the team with plenty of other young players. For the team to take a big step forward, these offensive players need to progress:
Kyle Okposo – On the bright side, Okposo reached a career-high with 24 goals last season. Still, the team has a lot invested in the young power forward, so they’d love to see a larger jump in 2012-13.
Michael Grabner – The speedster’s breakout in 2010-11 presented the makings of a letdown, and 32 total points was disappointing (a -18 didn’t help, either). Still, he did manage 20 goals, so don’t discount his chances of bouncing back.
Josh Bailey – After scoring just 15 points in his first 61 games last season, Bailey finished on fire (17 points in 19 contests). That flourish partially came from moving to the wing, where the Isles would be wise to keep the 22-year-old forward.
Ryan Strome – Could the fifth overall pick from 2011 leap into the NHL already? Even if he can’t, Strome seems on a path to becoming a go-to guy for Long Island.
Kirill Kabanov – The boisterous Russian winger should be on Garth Snow’s radar.
Brock Nelson – Great size, even better name.
Are there any other young scorers that need to bring more to the table for the Islanders?