The New York Islanders will draft 23rd overall at this years NHL Entry Draft. What should they do with their pick? Move up, move down, or trade out of the first round altogether?
There’s an easy argument to make that the New York Islanders should trade out of the first round of the 2019 NHL draft. Their system is filled with talented players that they can tap into for the next few years. What they need is help in the NHL now.
The Islanders should be focused on trading their first-round pick – as part of a package – to bring in a top six winger. To do so they should target teams that are rebuilding – like the Los Angeles Kings – or teams that are right up against the salary cap ceiling – like the Vegas Golden Knights.
But if they can’t find a deal that works, what do they do then?
If they keep the pick, a center has to be the Islanders top priority. They have few in the system at the moment and we’re already feeling the pinch at the NHL level. Having reinforcements over the next few years is important. If they can’t a center they like, the Islanders should consider trading down. Find a team that will take a late first-round pick for two early to mid-range second round picks.
The caliber of player they’ll draft in the second round will be about the same as they’re first-round selection but trading down will allow them to get two instead of one.
Matt and I discuss these topics at length over the course of the podcast.
What Else Do We Talk About?
What should Isles expect from a 23rd overall?
Looking over a ten-year sample size of 23rd overall picks doesn’t paint a positive picture for the Islanders. Picks made at 23 between 2006 and 2015 are typically NHL’ers but are rarely quality NHL’ers.
Adding William Karlsson?
He’s an RFA on a team that is already over the cap ceiling. The New York Islanders need to call up former employee George McPhee to see if they can make a deal for the goal-scoring center. Maybe a package of picks can entice the Golden Knights to trade a former 40 goal scorer.
GM of the Year Snub?
After turning the New York Islanders within a year, you’d think that Lou Lamoriello would be applauded for his remarkable achievement. Yet, he wasn’t one of three finalists for the GM of the Year trophy. Why not? Maybe a man who’s already in the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder can’t win the award?