The New York Islanders NHL Expansion Draft experience last night was an eventful one. With a first round pick going to the Golden Knights and salary being dumped, how did Garth Snow do?
The New York Islanders were one of the more active teams leading up to the NHL Expansion Draft. Rumors were flying all over the place. Mikhail Grabovski was rumored to be going to Vegas as well the Islanders first-round pick in 2017.
And later on in the day that evolved to include Jean-Francois Berube. The Isles third string goalie which, unfortunately for him, was the source of a ton of grief for two years.
But in the end, the New York Islanders sent their 2017 first-round pick (15th overall), Mikhail Grabovski’s $5 million contract, defensive prospect Jake Bishoff, and their second round pick in 2018.
If you were watching the NHL Awards Ceremony, the Islanders deal once revealed on the board received a loud vocal support from the hometown crowd. It’s a nice package heading to the desert. But from an Isles perspective, it seems like a win.
Garth seems to have escaped the expansions draft in good shape. So what do you grade him?
Wait For Trade(s)
We can’t give Garth Snow an accurate grade yet. Because by all accounts he isn’t done. And that makes sense considering what left.
Garth seems to have approached the expansion draft as the first step in a multi-step process to reset his roster in the matter of weeks rather than a laborious and slow retooling.
That’s the end game here for Snow. To acquire the right number of top level forwards to improve his already good core of forwards.
Garth has that talismanic number one center that every championship franchise needs. He has a solid defense core led by Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk. He’s also got a pretty good goaltending tandem with Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss. What the Isles don’t have is a solid top six.
The expansion draft was step one on his way to, hopefully achieving that. Garth made sure that he kept all of his players with any sort of trade value, lost a player he was going to lose anyways and cleared up $5 million in cap space.
In return, he gave up the 15th overall pick in this year’s draft, something in all honesty that was surplus to the Isles requirements based on where they are in the lifecycle of the team.
With that first round pick, he also sent a second round pick in next years draft and Jake Bischoff. A defensive prospect the Isles picked up in the 7th round of the 2012 draft that put up 32 points in 38 games for the University of Minnesota and three points in six games with the Sound Tigers.
His expansion draft grade is a tentative B* right now. The asterisk is for future considerations. We have to see what happens in the next day or so before we can evaluate this. If Garth can land one, or even two top level forwards an A to A+ might be in the works.