We now know who was selected with the draft picks the New York Islanders gave up in the Jean-Gabriel Pageau trade with the Ottawa Senators.
It was a big move to bring in one of the better, if not the best third-line center in the league. Pageau is a player who fits the New York Islanders system and style perfectly. With two goals in seven regular-season games and eleven points in 22 playoff games, there’s no doubt the Islanders got a good player in the trade.
With the second round of the 2020 NHL draft complete (after what seemed like days) we now know who the Islanders essentially gave up to bring in Pageau.
First Round Pick
By going all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Isles were supposed to draft 28th overall at the 2020 draft. The Senators, picking for the third time in first-round, selected Ridley Greig out of the WHL.
Greig had a breakout season for the Brendan Wheat Kings with 26 goals and 60 points in 56 games. That’s a 25 point jump in seven fewer games from his 2018-19 season.
Greig is said to be a good all-around player. Here’s what Flyers assistant General Manager said about Greig (his father is an amateur scout for the Flyers):
"“He’s a hockey player, he plays center, he can play anywhere, he’s a real smart player, two-way, really detailed and he has an edge to his game. […] He can kill penalties, win faceoffs, he hits, he goes to the net, he produced offensively. He looks like a really well-rounded player, I think he’s a real solid prospect.”"
Second Round Pick
The Ottawa Senators moved up 15 picks from the Isles 59th overall to 44. They sent the Isles 59th overall pick to the Leafs as well as the 64th overall pick to do so. The Leafs used the Islanders pick to select 5’9″ center Roni Hirvonen from Liiga side Assat (where now-former Islanders prospect Linus Soderstrom is playing).
He’s an undersized center, not that size should matter, who put up 16 points in 52 games for Assat last season and added 15 points in 12 games for Finland (at U18 and U20 level).
"“I’m a smart player. Versatile. And as previously said, a dynamic skater. I have a warrior’s mentality.”"
What strikes me about both picks is how their styles seem to compare to Pageau. Both are centers (though Greig is sometimes listed as a winger) and both are that tenacious two-way player just like Pageau.
Of course, who knows if the New York Islanders take any of those players. And it’s clear the Islanders made the right call in trading both picks for Pageau. It’s not to say that either pick is or will be bad players. It seems that both can be good pros eventually.
Eventually being the operative word. The Isles needed support now not eventually. And they’ll that for the next six years with Pageau.