The New York Islanders have four premium picks heading into the 2018 NHL Draft. The Isles pair of first-rounder’s, in particular, have high trade value.
There is so much talk circulating around the New York Islanders these days. One of the topics is will the Isles trade one if not both of their first-round picks. Both picks carry high trade value.
Good Players on the Board
This June’s NHL Draft is a good one and the Isles will have tough choices to make on which players to take at 11 and 12 overall. That’s of course if they keep the picks.
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There are a number of exciting forward prospects that could be on the board in Joe Veleno, Barrett Hayton, and Joel Farabee. There should be at least one exciting defenseman available as well if not two. Keep an eye out for Ty Smith and Bode Wilde, as well.
It doesn’t stop there for the Isles as they have a pair of second-round picks as well, with the 41st and 43rd overall selections. There will be good options there too. All four of these picks are very valuable trade assets.
There is no doubt the Isles first-round picks have strong trade value. Just look to last year where the Arizona Coyotes received Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta for the seventh overall pick in last year’s draft along with secondary prospect Anthony DeAngelo.
At the time of the trade, Stepan was a 26-year old, two-way center, who had produced four straight seasons of 50+ points (has 56 points this past season). Stepan was also signed for the next four years (cap hit $6.5 million) at the time of the deal.
Raanta was coming off a stellar season at the time of the deal last June as well. In 2016-17, Raanta played in 29 games and compiled a record of 16-8-2 with 2.27 goals against average and .922 save percentage. Raanta had a better year this past season (played 47 games) and his cap hit was just $1 million.
This gives you an idea of the value of the Isles first-round picks on the open trade market.
Picks are the Future Core
How important are draft picks, especially top selections? Consider the fact that an NHL team has control over a player (rights wise) for a number of years (usually until their late twenties). In addition, a player first three years is when they are on their entry-level contracts and under a team friendly scenario (cap hit under $1 million).
You put those points together, along with the fact that now more than ever young players are ready to contribute at an early age and in today’s NHL, and these high draft picks are worth their weight in gold. As the Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee has said “the draft is your life blood“.
If the Isles do choose to move some of these picks they better get back a lot in return.