Official: Paige VanZant signs with Bare Knuckle FC

Paige VanZant

Well the rumor mill has been buzzing over the last few weeks about Paige VanZant. There were rumors that she was close to a deal with Bare Knuckle FC. There were also rumors that Bellator was making a big push.

However, after everything, we finally got our answer today. As I stated in the original article, the resolution of this situation is a surprising one as PVZ has signed a multiple fight deal with Bare Knuckle FC.

What does VanZant bring to Bare Knuckle FC

Bare Knuckle FC has been a little bit of an oddity since it started back in 2018. The promotion has welcomed former UFC champions and former boxing world champions to it’s ranks.

Fighters like Paulie Malignaggi and Johny Hendricks come to mind when thinking of the fighters to try out Bare Knuckle FC. However, we haven’t seen a female star make the jump to Bare Knuckle. That all changed today.

While VanZant is not one of the best fighters in the world, to deny her popularity would be unwise. She became a sensation when she first joined the UFC and became even more popular after her stint on Dancing With The Stars.

The obvious reason behind a lot of VanZant’s popularity are her looks. She has been featured in Sports Illustrated for their Swimsuit Edition and has talked about how much she gets paid for Instagram posts.

For these reasons the signing leaves me scratching my head. Bare Knuckle FC is absolutely brutal. Don’t believe me, just watch the Artem Lobov and Jason Knight fight. I was fully expecting VanZant to sign with Bellator after her UFC contract ended.

Per ESPN, the deal with Bare Knuckle is a four fight deal with over a million dollars with incentives built into the contract. A massive pay bump and one that Bellator clearly was not ready to match. I’m very curious to see what the future holds for PVZ in BNFC.

New York Mets name Robert Gsellman as today’s starter and intend to move him to the rotation

The New York Mets had an opening in the starting rotation following Marcus Stroman’s decision to opt out of the season and Michael Wacha’s shoulder injury. Several options were considered to fill in not just tonight’s start, but also, permanently, or at least indefinitely. Among them were Franklyn Kilome, Ariel Jurado, Erasmo Ramirez and Walker Lockett.

However, New York Mets’ manager Luis Rojas chose to stretch out bullpen arm Robert Gsellman, who has some starting experience, and have him join the rotation alongside Jacob deGrom, Rick Porcello, Steven Matz and rookie David Peterson, at least until Wacha is ready to return from his ailment.

The information was reported by MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo via Twitter. “Not only will Robert Gsellman start tonight, he will be stretched out as a starting pitcher, Mets manager Luis Rojas tells @WFAN660,” he wrote.

The Mets had other options but chose Gsellman

The move may come as a surprise to many, but it is not a bad idea after all. Seth Lugo was also considered for the role, but he is too important to the Mets’ bullpen to remove him from that role.

Gsellman came up through the Mets’ ranks as a starting pitcher. He even started games during his first two seasons in Flushing.

In 2017, Gsellman pitched 25 games, starting 22 of them. He covered a total of 119.2 frames, with a 6.17 K/9 and a 3.16 BB/9. His ERA wasn’t particularly impressive at 5.19, and he had a 4.89 FIP.

So far in the 2020 season, he has pitched a clean inning with two strikeouts in his lone appearance.

Gsellman is currently throwing almost three miles per hour harder than he was three years ago, but it remains to be seen how the stuff translates this time around. The New York Mets need him to perform adequately, at least in the short term.

New York Mets: Examining Pete Alonso’s struggles at the plate

The New York Mets haven’t performed up to their abilities so far in the 2020 season. They are 7-11, currently in last place in the National League East division. The beginning of the year has been rough, but we all know that the Mets are better than this. Will they start showing it on the scoreboard soon?

One of the areas in which they had been struggling, the bullpen, has improved considerably. Even former closer Edwin Diaz has thrown several scoreless frames since being removed from ninth-inning duties. But what about the most feared slugger in the lineup?

The New York Mets will depend on Pete Alonso’s contributions if they are going to turn around their season. The 2019 Rookie of the Year, who broke the home run record for first-year players with 53, is struggling at the plate so far in 2020.

In 18 games and 79 plate appearances, Alonso has a couple of long balls, but is batting just .197/.329/.303 with a .294 wOBA and a 91 wRC+. Last year, he slashed .260/.358/.583 with a team-leading 143 wRC+ and a .384 wOBA.

The Mets miss his slugging prowess

The Mets’ slugger has been walking more than last year (12.7 BB% compared to 2019’s 10.4) but also striking out more (30.4 to 26.4.) The biggest difference, however, has been felt in the slugging department.

In 2019, Alonso had a .323 ISO (isolated power, what we get by substracting slugging percentage minus batting average.) In 2020, the mark is all the way down to .106, similar to a slap-hitting major leaguer.

Alonso’s exit velocity, barrel percentage and hard-hit rate have also been down compared to last season.

Still, New York Mets shouldn’t be roo worried about Alonso’s slump. It’s still relatively early and they are a couple of games out of a playoff spot, and it is not uncommon for sophomores to struggle. These situations warrant some time, but Alonso is too talented to slug below .500 when all is said and done.

Fighter pay prompted Corey Anderson to ask for UFC release

Corey Anderson

Last week there was shocking news in the UFC when it was announced that the fourth ranked light heavyweight contender, Corey Anderson (13-5), had signed with Bellator. Many were left scratching their heads.

One of the main reasons for confusion was the fact that Anderson still had a few fights left on his deal. This was not some tomato can who had lost a bunch of fights in a row, this was one of the top contenders in the UFC‘s light heavyweight division.

Almost a week after the signing was announced, we are starting to learn a little more about what happened between Anderson and the UFC.

Rough 2020 for Corey Anderson

It has been a very rough year for Anderson. After he lost to Jan Blachowicz at UFC Fight Night 167 by knockout, Anderson collapsed in his friend’s driveway. Anderson suffered multiple injuries and had to undergo multiple procedures due to a heart condition.

In an interview with ESPN, Anderson stated that the UFC was wanting to move quickly after he came out of recovery. He stated that he had a contract waiting for him right after.

“I literally came out of the last procedure, rolled into my waiting room and turned my phone on, and had a contract from the UFC for a fight,” Anderson said. “I agreed to the fight, but then my opponent got hurt. They were doing the same thing they did in the past. Offering me fights that didn’t make sense for the money I was making…”

Anderson went on to talk about the fact that he’s the fourth ranked fighter in the world, but he was being paid like a newcomer. The top contender decided to ask the UFC for a little more money considering everything and they promptly said no.

Bellator paying a lot more than the UFC

Anderson told his manager to request a release to see if they could find a better deal elsewhere. He said it took “20 seconds” for the UFC to agree to release him from his current deal.

It wasn’t long after that, that Anderson signed with Bellator. Anderson said that, “Bellator was offering me money like I was the number four guy in the world.”

Needless to say, Anderson is getting a massive pay bump to go over to Bellator. Not surprising considering Bellator’s interest in poaching top talent from the UFC. Bellator usually has to overpay a little to draw away talent.

Anderson will definitely be one of the top contenders immediately in Bellator’s light heavyweight division. I would expect him to get a title shot sooner than later, perhaps in his first Bellator fight.

New York Yankees: Aaron Boone indicates that Clint Frazier will play “important role”

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

The Giancarlo Stanton injury opened up space in the New York Yankees‘ roster for Clint Frazier, who was sent down to the team’s alternate training site a couple of weeks ago as the club wanted to shore up the pitching side of things.

This time around Frazier, at least according to Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone, figures to play an “important role” as the team solidifies its depth and looks for more outfield/designated hitter options.

He was actually called up before Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves, but Boone preferred to line up lefty Mike Ford in the DH spot against the right-handed Touki Toussaint.

“I expect he’s going to play an important role for us,” Boone said to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. “It was very difficult having to send him out [on July 26], based on his past performance, his talents, but also how he performed in the spring and the summer. He went down there the next day and got right to work. It’s been really good and consistent. I’m excited to have him back.”

Will the Yankees give him semi-regular at-bats?

With Stanton out of the picture in the short-term, the New York Yankees may provide Frazier with the opportunity to settle in and earn semi-regular playing time. He will have to hit for it to happen, though, as we already saw what the team did with fellow defensive-challenged teammate Miguel Andujar: they sent him to the alternate site because he wasn’t hitting.

“Even last year, it was that ‘next man up’ mentality and it seemed like not a beat was missed,” Ford said. “That’s kind of just everyone feeding off each other. I think [Frazier] will do a great job when he’s in there.”

Since debuting in 2017, Frazier has a .254/.308/.463 line with 16 homers in 429 plate appearances.

“Everyone knows Clint and what he can do with a bat and with the glove,” Ford said. “I love playing alongside him. He’s an electric player that has pop, speed, hit ability and obviously great hands at the plate. I think he brings a lot.”

New York Giants sign UDFA corner Prince Smith: 3 things to know about the rookie

Prince Smith, New York Giants

With the New York Giants losing DeAndre Baker and Sam Beal for the 2020 season, management has been scouring the free-agent market for supplemental players. Over the weekend, they reportedly signed a deal with veteran Ross Cockrell, but negotiations fell through as the deal wasn’t as sweet as anticipated. Whether it be money problems or not being guaranteed a starting job, Cockrell will take his talents elsewhere.

However, the desire to find a competitive corner was still a priority for the Giants brass. They went out and signed undrafted free agent Prince Smith, who was released by the Philadelphia Eagles several days ago.

Smith is coming out of the University of New Hampshire.

Here are three things to take away from Smith and what the New York Giants are getting in the Rookie:

1.) He’s as competitive as they come

According to bleedinggreennation.com, a Philadelphia Eagles blog that spoke with Roger Brown of the New Hampshire Football Report, Smith is an exciting young player. A four-year starter for New Hampshire, Smith is as competitive as they come. His No. 1 strength is competitiveness, so he will battle with Julian Love, Darnay Holmes, Chris Williamson, and Corey Ballentine for the CB2 role.

Starting a young and inexperienced player at CB2 could be problematic, in fact, it will be problematic. However, the Giants don’t have many choices to field at the position. Nonetheless, we can expect Smith to compete hard no matter the situation.

2.) Willing to stop the run as a corner

One of Smith’s more exciting traits it is physicality. As a press cover corner, he’s willing to stop the run and put his body on the line. His competitive nature makes him proactive in all facets of the game. While this could lead to injury, considering his 5-foot-10, 185-pound frame, his desire to attack ball carriers is positive.

Many good cover corners lack the motivation to step up and attack running back’s, due to the size advantage. Having a player in Smith that will do what is needed is exactly what New York Giants head coach Joe Judge is looking for in his players.

3.) Smith is a physical corner

Being a physical corner off the line of scrimmage could help him in Patrick Graham’s defensive scheme. Graham utilizes cover-1 heavily and man coverage about 50% of the time, so putting Smith in that role would be beneficial. While I don’t imagine he will be starting anytime soon, he has a developmental upside to make an impact if need be. New Hampshire is a decent program that has sent players in the NFL, but Smith’s weakness lies in technique.

Judge is keen on refining fundamentals and details within players, so improving his tackling technique and more should help Smith exponentially in his progression in the NFL.

New York Yankees History: The Amazing Yankee Teams of the late 1920’s

New York Yankees, Babe Ruth
The New York Yankees have won 27 World Baseball Championships.
The 1927 Yankees swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in four games. The 1928 team was one of the greatest Yankee teams for several reasons: In a time when they only played 154 games in a season, the team won 101 games. The team also consisted of eight future Hall of Fame members including manager Miller Huggins. The 1928 Yankees swept the St. Louis Cardinals in four games.
In game one, with terrific weather at the old Yankee Stadium, and in front of over 61,000 cheering Yankee fans, future Hall of Famer Waite Hoyt would only allow one run and the Yanks beat the Cards 4-1. Bob Meusel would have a home run. In game two George Pipgras would take the Cards to a 9-3 loss, while Lou Gehrig would hit his first home run of the series. Game 3 and 4 would be played at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis. Game three’s Tom Zachary would cause the Cards to lose 7-3. This time the Iron Horse would hit two home runs, for his third of the series. In game four, Babe Ruth would hit 3 home runs in the game, while Lou Gehrig would hit his fourth of the series and Cedric Durst would add a long ball of his own. In the series, the Yankees outscored the Cardinals 27-10. Hoyt would win his second game of the series.
The World Series in 1927 could stand on its own as a fantastic accomplishment winning their second championship and their first-ever sweep, but actually it was more about the players that made this team so significant. The 1928 team featured many star players, but none more than Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Ruth hit 54 home runs on the year. During this time the Yankees were known as Murderers’ Row because of the power of its lineup. Babe married his second wife, Claire Hodgson on April 17. The following day, the Yankees, with numbers on the back of their uniforms for the first time, opened the season against the Red Sox. Babe, wearing his new #3, whacked a first-inning home run to left field and doffed his cap to Claire as he rounded the bases. On August 11 in Cleveland, Ruth hit the 500th home run of his career.
At the end of the 29 season future Hall of Fame manager Miller Huggins passed away and Ruth applied for the job but was never seriously considered for the job. By the end of June 1930, Ruth was ahead of his 60-homer pace of 1927, but injuries slowed him down and he finished with 49. In 1931, at age 36, Ruth had one of his finest seasons. He hit .373/.495/.700, with 46 home runs, 162 RBIs, 128 walks, and 149 runs scored. The Yankees swept the Chicago Cubs in the 1932 World Series, giving them wins in 12 straight World Series games.
For the previous few years, Ruth’s hard living and injuries were catching up with him. In 1934, due to his declining health and stats, Yankee’s owner Ruppert gave Ruth a pay cut of 50%., Ruth excepted knowing his 20-year career was coming to an end. On July 13 against the Detroit Tigers, Ruth would hit his 700th home run. Ruth is the only major leaguer to pitch in at least 10 seasons and have a winning record in all of them. Ruth had winning records in 10 seasons: 1914-1921, 1930 and 1933. Andy Pettitte now holds the record at 13 seasons (1995-2007). Ruth concluded he was finished, even as a part-time player. As early as May 12, he asked Yankee owner Fuchs to let him retire, Ruth retired on June 2 after an argument with Fuchs.
The second huge star on the team was the future Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig. Gehrig had a monster Series. In the four games, he hit .545 with four home runs (two of them, one which was an inside-the-park homer, in Game 3) and nine RBIs. Despite these remarkable numbers, Gehrig was still in the Babe’s shadow. Ruth hit .625, which at the time was the highest average in a World Series. He also hit three home runs in Game 4, thus stealing the spotlight once again from his friend and teammate.
Manager Huggins would die, and a month later the stock market crashed, and the nation soon fell into the Great Depression. After a decade of glitz, glamour, and overindulgence, an era exemplified by Babe Ruth, the country was entering hard times, and it needed a new kind of baseball hero, one who was solid, dependable and dignified. They would find that hero, in Lou Gehrig.
While Babe Ruth was in decline, Gehrig flourished and was named Captain of the Yankees in 1935. After one season as the undisputed star of the Yankees, he was upstaged by Joe DiMaggio, the 21-year-old phenom of the Pacific Coast League was already something of a celebrity even before he arrived in New York. Gehrig found himself playing second fiddle to a rookie; a marvelous rookie, but still a rookie.
On May 31, 1938, he was set to play in his 2,000th consecutive game. But his wife, Eleanor, who saw him every morning and evening, became worried about the toll that the streak appeared to be taking on his body. She suggested that her husband skip the game. He played but as the summer progressed, Gehrig began to break down. His power was down and his hitting was down. Despite an entire season of struggles, Gehrig still put up respectable numbers in 1938, hitting .295 with 29 home runs and 114 RBIs.
With his game streak and playing though his injuries, Lou got the nickname “the Iron Horse”. Yankee fans were watching their idol, for the first time sit out of games. With his condition continuing to worsen, Eleanor contacted the famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. A team of doctors headed by Charles William Mayo himself reviewed Gehrig’s case. After six days of intensive testing, the doctors diagnosed Gehrig with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The cruelest part of ALS is that while it ravages the body, it leaves the mind unaffected.
On June 21, 1939, the Yankees announced Gehrig’s retirement and that July 4 would be “Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day,” a day to celebrate the life and career of their ailing hero. Almost 42,000 fans turned out for the ceremony, including Yankee notables like Babe Ruth, Willie Pipp, Earl Combs, Tony Lazzeri, and others including Mayor Fiorello La Guardia. After a series of speeches, Gehrig took the mike and would make one of the most famous speeches in baseball history.
The weak Gehrig started out “Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break. Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” The end had come. Gehrig never played another game. His career was over. His final statistics were among the best ever. A .340 batting average, 493 home runs, 1,995 RBIs, 534 doubles, 163 triples, and a .632 slugging percentage. A comprehensive list of Gehrig’s accomplishments as a ballplayer could fill an encyclopedia. On June 2, 1941, at 10:10 p.m., 16 years to the day after he replaced Wally Pipp at first base, Henry Louis Gehrig died at his home in the Fieldstone section of the Bronx, New York.
Other Hall of Famers on the 1928 team were Waite Hoyt the pitcher that won two of the four series games. This Hall of Fame pitcher, pitched for 21 years, 10 of which were with the Yankees. While with the Yankees, he had stats that would be near impossible to reach in the present state of the game. He had 70 complete games while being both a starter and a reliever. He was 157-98 with the Yankees and had six seasons with over 17 wins, and with 29 saves. Again, I say these stats are incredible for a pitcher that was both a starter and a reliever. Another unusual stat is that in the other eleven years of his career he would have only 3 other years in his career that would be winning years. After leaving the Yankees in 1930, Waite Hoyt would never really regain the pitching form he had with the Yankees.
The team also featured Hall of Famer Earle Combs. The summer of 1924 would be his rookie season with the Yankees. Combs would play center field at the still relatively new Yankee Stadium. He would be one of the team’s most successful hitters with a batting average of .400. In 1925, Earle would be an MVP candidate and would hit .342 for the team. In 1927, he would lead the team in games played. He would also lead the team with an incredible 231 hits, 23 of them triples while hitting .356. In 1928 he would again lead the league in triples, hitting 21 of them while batting .310 and being named an MVP nominee.
Another Hall of Famer on the team was Stan Coveleski, who had a 5-1 pitching record that year. Another was catcher Bill Dickey an eleven-time All-Star and a nine-time MVP candidate. Tony Lazzeri was a Hall of Fame second baseman for that Yankee team. Lazzeri was often overshadowed by the bigger stars on the team, but on any other team, he would have been its leading star. He hit 134 hits and batted .334 for the team.
To round off the future Hall of Fame players on that team was pitcher Herb Pennock who didn’t pitch all that well that year, but with the Yankees, for eleven years he would pitch to a record of 162-90 having eight seasons with over 16 wins, two of them 20 plus winning seasons.
The Yankees have had many great teams and World Series wins over the years, but few teams would ever match up the to 1928 Yankee team. With so many Hall of Famers and Yankee legends on one team, the Yankees 1928 team will forever be in the Yankee lore.
EmpireSportsMedia.com columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam

New York Yankees: Clint Frazier could shake things up in the Bronx

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

The New York Yankees called up outfielder Clint Frazier over the weekend. After Giancarlo Stanton landed on the 10-day IL with a left hamstring injury, fans were expecting to see Frazier land on the roster. He is not going to be new to the MLB. Clint has been in this position before and has been very good at the major league level. However, the Yankees have a lot of good players in the outfield. 

How could Frazier shake things up in the future?

We all know that Stanton is not an option anymore after suffering a grade-1 hamstring injury. With that being said, the Yankees are down to Judge Hicks, Gardner, Andujar, Tauchman, and Frazier in the outfield. Judge is the best all-around player on the Yankees and is going to be an everyday starter for the rest of his career. Hicks has been on a little slump lately but is very capable of getting hot for a long period of time. Tauchman has told every fan that last season was not a fluke and has been off to a fantastic start in 2020. Gardner is the only one that I think Frazier could outplay. He has been with the Yankees for the longest out of anyone on the Yankees right now but seems to be slowing down quite a bit.

In the last two seasons, Gardner has been on one-year deals and has made the point that this might be his last year. When COVID-19 hit the MLB and delayed the start of the season, Gardner was really pushing for a 2020 season because he thought it could be his last. 

With Clint Frazier getting yet another chance to become a full-time player, this might be the season we finally see the veteran we all know and love leave the Bronx. Brett Gardner has more experience in the big leagues and is a way better fielder. However, if the Yankees weren’t thinking of Clint Frazier as a potential starter in the future, wouldn’t they have just pulled up Andujar instead? Andujar is learning the outfield and can play there for a game or two. Plus, Aaron Boone has shown that he trusts Andujar way more than Frazier, considering he is trying to figure out ways to make Andujar a more versatile player. You could make the argument that in a full season, Andujar is a better overall player.

What will the Yankees do with Frazier now?

Clint Frazier will probably serve as the DH role for the Yankees. However, I think that Tauchman can fit that position a lot better. He doesn’t have the power that Frazier has, but he has shown that he can get on base at a much higher rate. Plus, he has been on an absolute tear lately hitting wise and has created a permanent roster spot for himself. It’s hard to tell how Aaron Boone views Clint Frazier. There have been a lot of times in which fans have begged for New York to call up the young outfielder, and Boone has gone in other directions. 

There are a ton of ways that the Yankees can go with this. We all know that Frazier is very capable of starting on most MLB rosters, but New York has been very hesitant with him. It will all come down to how Frazier performs in the field and in the box. Look to see how the Yankees plan to use the young outfielder and how he responds.

Devon Toews could be the most important player for the Islanders this round

New York Islanders, Devon Toews

Ever since he came into the NHL in December of 2018, the New York Islanders expected big things from Devon Toews.

The hype around Toews had built up for a long time, much of it due to how much the former regime — headed by Garth Snow — saw him as the organization’s next great d-man. And through almost two seasons now, Toews has lived up to the billing.

As the Isles begin their first-round series against the Washington Capitals today, a lot of eyes will be focused squarely on the 26-year-old. Reason being he’s got all the intangibles that very much can make him the so-called x-factor for the Islanders.

This series though really plays right into Toews’ wheelhouse.

Toews style and skating ability are similar to what to expect from a very potent Capitals’ squad. Toews proficient backcheck and skill at joining the rush on offense is another dangerous proponent which could give the Caps defensemen fits. He being the QB on the power play, Toews’ quick puck movement could draw trouble for a Caps penalty kill, that despite being good in the regular season, can still be exposed.

Plus. while Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech will have their hands full with the Capitals’ top line, it will be Toews job to neutralize the rest of Washington’s prolific forwards.

To add to expecting another huge series from Toews — we witnessed last year’s postseason and in the qualifying round too just how much Toews plays into the Isles success.

Last spring, Toews suited up in all eight games in the playoffs for the Isles. He had a quiet, but very effective first series against Pittsburgh, which his team swept in four. But it was the next series where Toews made himself a household name. Despite the Islanders being swept by the Hurricanes, Toews was the team’s best all-around player in the series. He ended the playoffs with a goal and four assists.

That clutch nature was on display again against Florida last week. The argument can be made that Toews was the Islanders’ best d-man in the series. He tied with Ryan Pulock for most points by a d-man with four, and his contributions at even strength, on special teams and on the backend in helping shut down the Panthers’ lethal forwards, were crucial to the club taking care of business in just four games.

I wrote yesterday about Anders Lee needing time take his game to another level in this series. Well in regards to Toews, doing what he does best and the simple nature of his game could be critical the Islanders this series.

Toews could be a real game-changer as long as he doesn’t mock Evgeny Kuznetsov’s “bird celly”. We all remember what happened afterward from that stunt.

All joking aside, he is capable of being the Islanders’ most important player.

 

 

New York Islanders: Cole Coskey is the Next Big Thing

Cole Coskey, New York Islanders

The New York Islanders drafted forward Cole Coskey in the 7th round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. After being drafted, Coskey would return to his OHL team, the Saginaw Spirit. Coskey broke out this year and put himself on the radar for Islanders fans. The Islanders did not offer Coskey a contract after drafting him, but just recently, they did. The Islanders have a gem on their hands unless their AHL coach Brent Thompson ruins another prospect.

Time with Saginaw Spirit

Cole Coskey is a huge part of Saginaw’s history. Coskey has been a part of the organization since he was 15 years old. Dave Drinkill, the general manager of Saginaw, said, “Coskey grew up right in front of our very eyes.” Not only did Coskey have a great 2019, but he set records for Saginaw. Coskey is the leader in games played all-time for Saginaw with 302. Coskey is also third all-time in points for Saginaw with 235, third all-time in goals for Saginaw with 106, and 4th all-time in assists with 129. Do not expect this kind of production in the NHL or even the AHL, but it’s still very exciting to see.

When will Coskey be Ready?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Prospects, especially late-round picks, vary on their development time. This also depends on the coaching of the AHL team. Brent Thompson is not the guy for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Thompson has done players like Kieffer Bellows, Mitch Vande Sompel, and Parker Wotherspoon, all a disservice.  Despite this, Coskey is a very solid two-way winger, and that will only help him shine in Trotz’s system. If Coskey can keep up his production, he will be an undeniable pull-up. At best, Coskey is a Nazem Kadri/Erik Haula. At worst, he’s a Michael Dal Colle. I give it 2-3 years before he’s fully ready for the NHL.

Conclusion

The thing with the OHL is that it’s not hard to be good. Michael Dal Colle, who was supposed to be the next great winger for the Isles, recorded 95 points in 2013. Dal Colle is a nothing player now. This isn’t discounting how good Coskey could be, though. It’s merely just a “don’t get your hopes high up.” Cole Coskey is a diamond in the rough for this Islanders team, and Islanders fans will hopefully get to see him play soon.