With the NHL Draft starting today, we’re going to take a look at the first-rounders of the last decade for the New York Islanders.
Over the past decade, the New York Islanders had 13 picks in the first round of the NHL Draft. Of those 13, there were a few big hits, some unknowns, and some misses as well. As we know, the draft can be a crapshoot and Garth Snow had his fair share of issues in that part of the job.
Since the draft is tonight, I wanted to look back and rank the picks the Isles made in round one since 2010.
Let’s get into the list:
13. Griffin Reinhart – 2012 4th Overall
We now know what Griffin Reinhart turned into thanks to the Oilers but as far as the player selection goes this one is about as bad as it gets. He was selected fourth overall and played 37 games in the league, eight of which were with the Isles. This was a huge whiff.
12. Michael Dal Colle – 2014 5th Overall
Michael Dal Colle was the fifth overall pick six years ago and he has just 85 games under his belt in the NHL with 17 points. Sure, he’s a “fine” bottom-six player but that’s not what you want from someone taken that high.
11. Josh Ho-Sang – 2014 28th Overall
Drama. That’s the perfect word to describe the Islanders and Ho-Sang’s relationship. He flashed at the NHL level briefly but I’m not sure he will ever get a real shot with this team (even though he was just qualified)
10. Simon Holmstrom – 2019 23rd Overall
This was a weird pick at the time. Nobody had Holmstrom that high on their board when the Isles took him. Yes, there’s plenty of time for him but with his injury history, there are some questions about the likelihood of his development.
9. Kieffer Bellows – 2016 19th Overall
Bellows can climb up this list but so far he’s been disappointing. He’s had an up and down pro career so far in the AHL and only has eight games in the NHL under his belt at 22 years old.
8. Nino Niederreiter – 2010 5th Overall
In 64 games with the Islanders, he had just three points. Granted, they were playing him on the fourth line and playing him 10 minutes a night, but the production wasn’t there. The Isles gave up on him way too early and completely mismanaged Nino. He has four 20 goal seasons since leaving the Islanders.
7. Ryan Strome – 2011 5th Overall
Strome was another weird one. He started off solid with a 50 point rookie season. His production dipped to 28 points and then 30 before he was moved to Edmonton for Jordan Eberle straight up. He revived his career with the Rangers but for the Isles, it just didn’t work out.
6. Noah Dobson – 2018 12th Overall
Dobson was a nice find for Lou Lamoriello in the 2018 draft. He played just 34 games this past year but will likely have a good chance of being a regular this year. His ceiling is a top-four defenseman.
5. Oliver Wahlstrom – 2018 11th Overall
Here we have the pick previous to Dobson, Oliver Wahlstrom. While Dobson has 25 more NHL games under his belt, I’d argue that Wahlstrom’s ceiling is higher. He could be the goal scorer the Islanders are lacking and for the positional value, he gets the slight nod over Dobson.
4. Anthony Beauvillier – 2015 28th Overall
Beauvillier, now with four years in the NHL under his belt, has come into his own. He has established himself as a solid second-line option as he was on pace for 22 goals and 47 points this season. He was also huge for the Isles in the playoffs with nine goals in 22 games.
3. Ryan Pulock – 2013 15th Overall
For the third year in a row, Ryan Pulock put up over 30 points from the blue line. He logs big minutes for this team, over 22 minutes a night in each of the past two seasons. He’s a top-pair d-man on just about any roster.
2. Brock Nelson – 2010 30th Overall
Over the last two years, Nelson has climbed this list a ton. He went from an okay depth player to a downright stud of a second-line center. In 2020, he had a career-high of 54 points and in the playoffs, he was excellent for Barry Trotz’s team. Nelson is an important part of this team’s future.
1 Mathew Barzal – 2015 16th Overall
The Calder, an overtime game-winner in the playoffs, and the face of the franchise. It doesn’t get much better than finding a player like Mat Barzal. He is a clear building block for this team and should be here for a very long time.