We're months away from the NHL Draft (Day 1 is on July 7), but it's the next big date on the NHL calendar for the New York Islanders. So let's think about it real quick.
When it comes to the draft, and considering the Islanders prospect pool, what do the Islanders need from the 2022 NHL Draft?
New York Islanders: Early look at needs for 2022 NHL Draft
Now you're probably just like me when it comes to the draft. Teams should take the best available player and not draft based on need. You don't pass up a possible elite forward because you might need defensemen.
Also, like me, you probably remember the Islanders prospect pool being ranked at the bottom of the NHL at the start of the year. The Athletic's Scott Wheeler ranked it 31st out of 32 pools (subscription required).
So in my opinion that's the need to bring in as much quality as possible to augment this pool that desperately needs it.
But, for the sake of playing both sides of the coin, do the Islanders have a need? As in, is there one position that is really weak in the prospect pool compared to others? I'd say right-handed defensemen is comparatively weak against the other positions within the Isles prospect pool.
Currently, the Isles RHD pool is staffed with Grant Hutton, Bode Wilde, and Tomas Machu. A 26-year-old Hutton who isn't really a prospect anymore, Bode Wilde whose days are probably numbered in the Isles system, and Tomas Machu who's a seventh-round pick from last year.
Both Wilde and Machu have taken steps back in their development this season. For Machu, you can explain that after going from the Czech league to the USHL. For Wilde, who was sent out on loan to a second-tier Swedish side, you can't. Wilde didn't stand out in Sweden and was a healthy scratch for a number of games.
There's a serious lack of quality on the right side of the blue line within the pool. So if there's a positional need it's RHD.