Really Good Pick: 2013
Best Player: Ryan Pulock 15th Overall
It took him a while to get to the NHL, but now that Ryan Pulock is here, he’s the Islanders undisputed number one blueliner.
The right-handed d-man with a cannon of a slapshot was handed the number one role by Barry Trotz in 2018. A decision that was rewarded by the Islanders immediately becoming the best defensive team in the league.
Alan Quine in the sixth round was an alright pick. We all remember that double OT goal against the Panthers in the 2016 playoffs right?
Makings of a fantastic draft: 2018
In a few years, the 2018 draft could easily be the Islanders best draft of the decade.
Oliver Wahlstrom is a supremely skilled player and could be a great top-six forward in the NHL in just a few years. Noah Dobson is already in the NHL although in a reduced role, but his rise will be quick, expect him to be in the Islanders top four in just two years.
Getting Bode Wilde in the second-round was an incredible steal for the Isles. The mobile offensive-defenseman was supposed to be a first-round pick. Add promising Russian forward Ruslan Iskakhov, and the Isles left the 2018 draft with probably the best first four picks.
We’ll see in a few years if that’s true.
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Best of the Best: 2015
Best Player: Mathew Barzal 16th Overall
Going into the 2015 draft the Islanders didn’t even have a first-round pick. Their pick belonged to Buffalo as part of the Thomas Vanek trade. But with Griffin Reinhart going to Edmonton, the Islanders were able to move back into the first round.
They would select 2018 Calder Trophy winner Mathew Barzal 16th overall and Anthony Beauvillier with the 28th overall pick (yet another pick they got from the Reinhart trade).
Barzal is a superstar in the making that the Islanders had no business drafting. If not for Garth Snow picking Peter Chicarelli’s pocket, the Isles likely leave the first round of the 2015 draft empty-handed.
The 2018 draft class could eventually prove to be a better class, but for now, hardware talks louder and Mathew Barzal’s Calder Trophy screams: “The best of the best”.