The New York Islanders were awarded the 5th pick in the 2014 NHL draft following Tuesday nights draft lottery. Coming into the lottery the Islanders had a slim 8.1% chance to land the first pick in the draft but instead received what they were projected, which was the 5th pick. To complete the Thomas Vanek trade the Islanders were given the option to give Buffalo their 2014 1st round pick, or the teams 2015 1st round pick. Recently Garth Snow made the statement he would “wager any amount of money” the Islanders would hold on to there 2014 first round pick. Here are a couple of reasons why Snow made the right move.
Fans have to like this move by Snow because if the Islanders did end up deferring the pick to Buffalo, Snow is banking on the Islanders not being as good next season which would result in a high pick in the 2015 draft. Fans do not want to see another failure of a season and want the team to win now. By keeping the pick the Islanders have multiple options. First, the Islanders can draft one of the talented forwards in this years draft class. Options include high touted players such as Michael Dal Colle, Leon Draisaitl, and Jake Virtanen. These wingers could be a potential replacement for Thomas Vanek and would solidify a need for a first line winger. Although this sounds great the Islanders would be making a mistake by picking at this spot compared to trading the pick to fulfill the teams needs. Garth Snow should make this pick available and shouldn’t have a problem finding suitors. One name that stands out is Winnipeg Jets left winger Evander Kane. Kane is a speedy left-winger who is only 22 years old and has put up a total of 99 goals and 101 assist in 324 career games. Kane was a 4th overall pick by the Atlanta Thrashers and was a 30-goal scorer in 2012. Kane has huge potential and a first line of Kane, Tavares, and Kyle Okposo would be one of the best, if not the best in the National Hockey League. Kane was a healthy scratch later in the year due to turmoil with Jets head coach Paul Maurice. If the Islanders fail to land Kane, they can look in the direction of trading for a goaltender or a defenseman. If there are no worthy trade candidates the team will use the picks they received in the Thomas Vanek and Andrew MacDoanld trades to fix this problem.
The Islanders have been drafting at a high spot for years and the team has a highly talented farm system. Its time that Garth Snow starts to realize the rebuild is over and that the team needs to trade talent to get talent. The Islanders have plenty of prospects that they can deal for players that will not help them just now, but in the long run. With fans growng impatient over the rebuild its time that Snow makes a move for a quality player like Evander Kane, and gets into win now mode.