The Post-Tavares Era
The Islanders History Within the “Era”:
2013: No Lottery Finished 16th 24-17-7
2014: 8.1% chance, Drafted 5 (Michael Dal Colle) Finished 26th 34-37-11
2015: No Lottery, Drafted 16 and 28 (Barzal and Beauvilier) Finished 10th 47-28-7
2016: No Lottery, Drafted 19 (Kieffer Bellows) Finished 10th 45-27-10
2017: Traded 1st Round Pick, Finished 17th 41-29-12
The era is named post-Tavares not because of some implication that Tavares won’t be around any longer, but simply because it came after he was drafted. (I told you the titling wasn’t original.)
After four years of drafting in the top five, the Islanders should have been poised to make some noise. And in 2013 they certainly did. Although of those four top five picks only Tavares was on the team. His 47 points in 48 games helped the Isles make the postseason for the first time in five years.
That wouldn’t last. By the next season, the New York Islanders were drafting in the top five again with a 26th place finish on the year.
And again, only Tavares was playing for the Islanders. Niederreiter was traded at the start of the season, Strome would last half a season before going to Bridgeport, Reinhart was still playing in the WHL. For their troubles, the Isles drafted Michael Dal Colle. A player that would continue the theme of top prospects not making it to the next level.
With two seasons at 100 points and back-to-back playoff appearances AND a 50 point season from Ryan Strome in 2015, things were looking great for the Isles. Add the fact that Griffin Reinhart was traded for what became Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier and everything was coming up Isles.
And then 2017 and 2018 happen. All that effort was wasted as the Islanders crashed back to the lower tier of the league.
Questions need answering. Will the rebuild start again? Will Garth Snow be at the helm for this rebuild? Because by now the Islanders should have gone through a successful period. They should have been set up for a while. And they aren’t even close to that. They might even be back at square one.