Expansion And Entry Draft
In the Vegas expansion draft the New York Islanders were going to lose something. It could have been something of consequence or something inconsequential. Vegas took third string goalie Jean-Francois Berube. Great! And in order for the Golden Knights to take him they took Mikhail Grabovsky and his $5 million salary. Even better!
But the Islanders also had to part with their first-round pick, a second-round pick in 2019 and defensive prospect Jake Bishoff.
You can’t say that, in hindsight, protecting Adam Pelech was a great call. He was at best an OK 6-7 D-man for the Islanders this year. Is keeping that over potentially a blue chip prospect a good thing?
The Golden Knights used the Isles first-round pick to take Erik Brannstrom 15th overall. A small defenseman that put up 15 points in the SHL this season playing alongside Isles goalie prospect Linus Soderstrom with HV71.
The Islanders may not have a draft pick in first round but their fifth round selection at the draft played in the NHL and looked pretty good this season.
Sebastian Aho, drafted in the fifth round of last years draft played 22 games at the NHL level this season. In less than a season Aho was in the NHL scoring four points. He looked out of place at first, but he quickly found a groove.
Based on what he had Garth did an alright job. He may not have drafted a blue chip prospect, but he still found an NHL calibre player in the lot. And that’s the point.
He loses points for protecting a roster that probably didn’t need to be as protected as it was.
Grade: C+ (69%)