NY Islanders News

Kabanov – the potential “STEAL” of the draft

By Gary Harding
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Garth Snow, in my opinion, would seem to be a great poker player.

Everyone knows what he did last year with JT.  No one knew what he was doing until the last possible second.  Some rumors have it that he pulled a bluff on himself.

I believe that most NHL pundits were quite pleased on Garth’s selection of El Nino with the 5th pick.  I, among others, were looking at the defensemen (Gudbranson specifically), thinking this was the way to go.  Gudbranson, or one of the other two d (Fowler or Gormley) would have been a solid pick, with no bad taste in expert’s mouths.

When I watched the replay of the draft (was unable to go to the party, and did not tape it), I was very pleased to hear Pierre McGuire nearly salivate over El Nino coming to Long Island.  Love the ‘No holes like Swiss Cheese’ description of him.  I knew that Nino was on the radar, but just didn’t think that he would be the pick for us.  That is why I have a real job…

Brock Nelson is a big boy with a tremendous upside.  Going to North Dakota is not such a bad place, either.  There has been a good standard that have gone there in previous years, specifically, Toews and Parise among others.  The other Toews (and Islander pick) is also there right now.  It is a chance, and it would not be the first time that a player of this stature makes a dent in the NHL fraternity.

The big chance is Kabanov.

A player that was projected in the Top 10 earlier in the year, dropped like a brick, due to ego, personal issues, and agent problems.  Garth made things PERFECTLY clear, that Kirill is going to be watched like a hawk, and will show the character that an Islander propsect SHOULD carry.  A kid of this past, I hope, is probably one that wants to show everyone that they were wrong in doubting their non-selection of him.  Sometimes, that trait is a very nice one indeed.

The other picks in day two are of the ilk of potentials, and long-range possibilities.

Most of the ‘experts’ gave the Islanders mid-range marks; with praise for Neiderreiter, but not so much for Kabanov.  Too many people make predictions on the draft today, instead of seeing what happens down the road.  Remember how Snow was ripped for picking Bailey?  Yes – he may not have Stamkos points, but he has done a nice job.  Of course the pundits will say that Tavares did not achieve what he should have, but despite the mid season blues, he performed favorably and has shown a great deal of maturity for a 19 year old.

I really think we have a chance to make major strides this season, and the draft picks will be in place to provide more for the future.

Remind me never to play cards with Garth.

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