Summer Skate: New York Islanders

John Tavares is poised for a breakthrough season, while Frans Nielsen could drop off

Updated: August 26, 2011, 3:46 PM ET
By Timo Seppa and Corey Pronman | Hockey Prospectus

Using the VUKOTA projection system of Hockey Prospectus, Insider takes the temperature of key players on every NHL team, continuing with the Islanders. For a detailed explanation of Prospectus' proprietary GVT value metric, read more here.

Summer Skate -- New York Islanders

It's fairly easy to overlook the Islanders, given that the franchise has spent every season since 2007-08 in the Atlantic Division basement. The benefit or those seasonal shortcomings comes in the form of high draft picks, which should put some exceptionally talented players on the ice for the 2011-12 season. Mix in the savvy pick up of Calder Trophy finalist Michael Grabner and a few savvy signings on the cheap, and there's legitimate reason for excitement on Long Island. Leading the way will be their former No. 1 overall pick.

Trending up: C John Tavares
Last season: 11.3 GVT | VUKOTA projection: 13.5 GVT

Corey Pronman is ESPN's NHL Draft and Prospects analyst. He provides analysis on the top draft-eligible players, prospects drafted by NHL teams and all other relevant prospect information. He lives in New York.