Sending Devon Toews to the Colorado Avalanche in the lead-up to the 2021 season was not ideal but it was necessary for the New York Islanders. But in return for the 25-year-old puck-moving defenseman was two second-round picks (one in 2021 and another in 2022).
And sure, with the way the Colorado Avalanche was built it wasn’t expected that either pick would be early in the second round. They’d probably be pretty late in the second. But how late would depend on the regular season and then the playoffs.
With a second-round loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, we now know where that first second-round pick will be; 59th overall*.
New York Islanders first second-rounder from Toews trade locked in
As the President’s Trophy winner, the earliest the Avalanche could pick was 27th. That would only happen if they couldn’t get past the first two rounds of the playoffs. While possible it didn’t seem likely that the powerhouse Avalanche would get bounced so early. Picking earlier than 27th wasn’t supposed to be the case.
And then the Vegas Golden Knights took out the Avs in six games of their second-round matchup. The Avalanche were 4-3-1in those eight games during the regular season with a -1 goal differential.
So that means the Avalanche will pick 27th overall and that the second-round pick will be the 59th overall in 2021.
Cool. What does that mean for the Islanders? Can they pick something up of quality?
Of course, they could. Even a seventh-rounder could be a quality pick for the Islanders as well. There are quality picks to be had in that range. In Lou’s career as an NHL GM, he’s pulled value out of the draft with second-round picks. Just a few years back, in 2019, he was able to pull Samuel Bolduc with the 57th overall pick.
That’s assuming the Islanders use the pick of course. With a relatively weak prospect pool I wouldn’t mind them using the pick, but with the little amount of scouting that could have been done this year, trading the pick away to get some cap relief might be the better course of action.
We’ll have to wait and see what Lou does with the pick, but with Colorado out of the playoffs, we now know where that first second-round pick sits in the draft order.
*This post originally stated the Islanders would be picking 60th overall. It’s actually 59th on account of the Arizona Coyotes first-round pick being forfeit for illegally testing 20+ prospects. I thought the NHL was skill counting that pick but simply skipping over it as they did during the draft lottery. At the draft, the pick won’t exit and only 31 selections will be made in the first round.