Barrett Hayton, Sault Sre. Marie Greyhounds OHL (C) 6’1″ 185 lbs:
Barrett Hayton had a much better year in the OHL this year than last year. In his first OHL action in 2016-2017, he had just 27 points he more than doubled his point total, goal total and assist total with a 60 point (21 goals, 39 assists) sophomore season.
Hayton was compared to Patrice Bergeron which is a fantastic comparison for a young player. He’s known as a two-way center which is perfect for an NHL caliber third-line center something the Islanders have yet to replace since the Frans Nielsen departure.
"”A jack of all trades type of player who excels in the prototypical 200-foot game. Is making the most out of increased offensive opportunities.” – Sam Cosentino – Sportsnet"
This is another “safe pick center” which isn’t a flashy pick but it would be a smart pick from whoever is calling the shots come June. Hayton will return to the OHL next season but keep an eye on him some believe he is just a year away from the NHL which would be a great find for the Islanders in the 10-14 range.
Although both center prospects Veleno and Hayton are appealing, If I were making the call I think I’d double down on defensemen. I’m definitely going Ty Smith and then one of Noah Dobson or Bode Wilde for my right-handed shot.
The Islanders struggled so much defensively and in their bottom six, but Anthony Beauvillier can fill the third line center role next year while you can add two more stud defensemen to your prospect pool.