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New York Islanders Centers to Target at 2019 NHL Draft 2.0

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 22: (l-r) Chris and Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders during the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 22, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JUNE 22: (l-r) Chris and Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders during the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 22, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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DALLAS, TX – JUNE 23: (l-r) Lou and Chris Lamoriello of the New York Islanders attend the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

If the New York Islanders aren’t going to trade their first-round pick in 2019 they should use it to draft a center. What center they should have their eyes on when they step up to the podium in June?

The New York Islanders will draft 23rd at the 2019 NHL draft in June. They don’t usually pick so late in the draft. Over the last ten years, the Islanders opening draft pick has been in the top ten on six occasions.

Waiting so long for the Islanders to make a pick on draft day isn’t something fans are used to, but it’s a welcomed change. It’s a small nod to what Lou has been able to do in a single season as GM.

He could still trade the Islanders first-round pick before he steps up to the podium. The Islanders system is already one of the best in the NHL. Getting another prospect that could help the team in a few years from now isn’t what the Islanders need now. What the Islanders needs is help in the team’s top six today, not in a few years from now.

But if he keeps the pick, Lou needs to use it on a center. Not for any immediate need. Center is the one glaring weakness in the Islanders system.

They have defenders (Aho, Wilde, Dobson), they have goalies (Sorokin, Skarek, Soderstrom) and they have wingers (Bellows, Ho-Sang, Wahlstrom). The only center they have is Otto Koivula.

They need to pick a center to round out their system and have options in every position. Here’s my second look at what center the Islanders should look at on draft day.

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