SCOUT'S NOTEBOOK: On the N & N Boys
Since Islanders fans in North America have had precious few chances to watch 2003 first round pick Robert Nilsson and 2004 first rounder Petteri Nokelainen in action, we have asked for the opinions of three men who saw plenty of them.
Here are three email reports from Islanders scouts, forwarded verbatim to Islanders fans:
TONY FELTRIN, Islanders Chief Amateur Scout
In Petteri, Islanders fans can expect to see a true team player, exhibiting a tremendous will to win. He's tenacious on the puck, while capable of contributing in all situations. Petteri is viewed as an eventual leader and be it at right wing or center his contribution to the team will not be measured by goals and assists alone.
With Robert you have a highly-skilled player who possesses excellent hands (puck skills) and on-ice vision. He can make plays which few others can see or are capable of completing. Robert also has a good shot and a scoring knack. He's versatile in that he's eventually capable of playing at any forward position. Look for Robert to likely excel on the power play and in offensive situations.
Certainly both of these young players have bright futures, but they'll need time to adjust to the NHL level and the rigors of a full North American season.
RYAN JANKOWSKI, Islanders Chief European Amateur Scout
Our fans can expect Petteri to be a hard-working player who will play consistently with intensity and bring very good character in the room. In the future, Petteri will be able to combine these tools with some good offensive production to make a well-rounded player for the Islanders. He will provide leadership and a work ethic on and off the ice.
This season will be an adjustment for Robert, but fans can still expect a player that will bring highly skilled offensive tools to the ice for the Islanders. In the future, Robert can be expected to be a player we look to for offense with his high skill level and creative playmaking. Watch for Robert to be an effective power play performer.
ANDERS KALLUR, Islanders European Scout
Petteri is very solid at just about everything -- good skater, good puck skills, outstanding forechecker, strong, physical player. He is very tough to play against. He has a great desire to win and works hard every shift as a result. He can play both center and wing for us. I think so much of his character that I believe he could be a captain or alternate for the Islanders some day.
Robert Nilsson is a very exciting player to watch...excellent hands, great vision and passing ability. He is deceptively strong for his size. I see him being very effective on the power play. We will be looking for him to learn to be more consistent in his work -- work hard every shift. If Robert can continue to improve on that as he has the last few years, we have a player that can win games for us.