New York Islanders First Round Draft Possibilities
The New York Islanders could have a number of interesting options when they are on the clock in the first round of the NHL Draft. Let’s examine the likely possibilities.
Last year, two players fell to the New York Islanders when they selected eleventh and twelfth overall. The Isles were thrilled to draft Noah Dobson and Oliver Wahlstrom.
Could someone fall to Lou Lamoriello again this year in Vancouver when the blue and orange select 23rd overall? Let’s assume that doesn’t happen and look at the likely options for Lamoriello and his scouting staff.
In a perfect world, the Islanders would draft a center with the 23rd overall pick. Lack of centers is the Isles biggest weakness in their prospect pipeline.
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There could be two good centers on the board when the Isles are on the clock. They are Philip Tomasino and Conor McMichael.
There are a number of similarities between both players. Tomasino is an intelligent, two-way center, who is a strong skater with speed, who sets up his teammates. His puck skills are still developing and at six-foot and179 pounds, he needs to get stronger.
McMichael is one of the smartest players in the draft who also plays a two-way game. Like Tomasino, McMichael needs to add strength as he is just six-foot 170 pounds.
There’s a good chance both guys are on the board when the Isles pick.
There will most likely be two enticing wingers on the board when the Isles turn comes up. They are Jakub Pelletier (LW) and Samuel Poulin (RW).
Pelletier is a very talented skilled winger who has been described as having lightning quick hands. Pelletier was second in the QMJHL last season in scoring (39 goals and 89 points) of players under the age of 18.
However, Pelletier is a small guy at just five-foot-nine and 160 pounds. Small in stature but not regarding his makeup. He plays with a lot of heart and gives 200 percent each and every game. His compete level is through the roof and he plays in the dirty area’s.
Poulin is the son of former NHLer Patrick Poulin. He is six-foot-one, 208 pounds, strong, skilled, smart, hard-working, who also has leadership skills. His ceiling is one of a second-line power forward.
The Dark Horse
The dark horse possibility for the Isles is Johnny Beecher. He is a local kid from Elmira, New York. Beecher is a centerman who plays a 200 foot, two-way game. He screams as a Lamoriello – Barry Trotz player.
While Beecher could sneak into the first-round he most likely he will go early to the middle of the second round. Lamoriello could slide back a few slots and take Beecher early in the second round and acquire more picks.
Remember the Islanders do not have any picks in rounds three and four (their second-round pick is Calgary’s slot at number 57 – Travis Hamonic trade).
If it was up to yours truly and Pelletier was on the board when the Islanders pick that would be my selection. Yes, the Islanders need centers but they can draft one in round two and more importantly this kid is too good to pass up.