Well, it’s now the off-season for the New York Islanders. As everyone knows a big part of a hockey organization’s off-season is about the Draft. Let’s take a sneak peek at the NHL Draft from an Islanders perspective.
With their series loss in the second round to the Carolina Hurricanes, the New York Islanders first-round pick will be 23rd overall. While the Isles don’t have their own second round pick (expansion draft trade with Vegas Golden Knights) but they do have the Calgary Flames second-rounder from the Travis Hamonic trade.
Lou Lamoriello and his staff are going to pick the best player on the board when they are on the clock in round 1 of the NHL Draft. When a team is picking 23rd overall that has to be the mindset. There will be some interesting choices on the board when the Isles turn comes up.
Let’s start with an intriguing possible dilemma for the Isles at number 23. What if goaltending prospect Spencer Knight is on the board when it’s the Isles turn? Knight’s ceiling is a franchise goalie.
Even though the Isles have
(assuming he re-signs) and
in the pipeline, if Knight is available and he has the highest ranking on the Isles board they need to take him. Goalie’s take time to develop and if the Isles have a future log-jam there will be plenty of teams looking to trade for a talented kid like Knight.
There will be quite a few other players to keep in mind as well. The Isles pipeline could use some more talented forwards. Both Ryan Suzuki and Philip Tomasino are projected to go right around where the Isles pick. Tomasino is a two-way winger, while Suzuki is more of a play-maker down the middle.
On the blue line, both Moritz Seider, Matthew Robertson and Cam York are exciting prospects and at least one of them could be on the board when the Isles turn comes up. Seider is a big kid (6’4, 185 lbs) who plays a two-way game and is not shy about playing a physical style. Robertson also has size (6’3, 195 lbs) and his scouting report says he plays well in all three zones, smart, mobile, and carries a heavy shot. York (5’11, 170 lbs) is an all-around mobile defenseman.
Yes, the Isles have a lot of depth on the blue line between the main roster, in Bridgeport, as well as having Noah Dobson and Bode Wilde in their prospect pipeline. Rule number one is take the best player on the board. Rule number two is you can never have enough good defenseman. Finally, the Isles could use this depth to acquire a top skilled NHL forward.
In round two thinking of a sentimental pick. The Isles second round pick would fall around pick number 57 (was Calgary’s pick).
Projected to go in the second round is a local kid named John Beecher. Beecher is from Elmira, New York and is a 6’3, 201 lbs center.
Beecher is a two-way center who plays a 200-foot game. His game screams a Barry Trotz player. The only problem is Beecher is rising on teams draft boards and he may go early to mid second and therefore be gone by the time the Isles pick in round two.
The Isles lack centers in their system. Other than Otto Koivula the Isles really don’t have that many centers in their system to get excited about. So not only would the Isles be taking a local kid but also addressing a need in their organization. Fingers crossed that Beecher’s still on the board when the Islanders pick.
Most hockey analysts felt the Islanders had a strong draft last year. This June’s draft gives the Isles another opportunity to continue to build their organization for the future.