A month from now the New York Islanders will step up and add a new group of prospects to the pool. A new chance to add some quality to one of the worst-ranked pools in the NHL.
Best way to do that is to use that 13th overall pick. Of course, we all assume the Isles will trade that pick to upgrade the playing roster instead of using it to upgrade the prospect pool.
But we've been there before when it comes to believing the Isles may trade away an early pick in the first round. We all assumed the Isles would trade on their first-round picks from 2018. They used both of them instead of moving one. So who knows what'll happen.
So let's assume they keep the pick. Islanders have picks in every round outside of the fourth and seventh. Going through all draft rounds, who could the Isles bring into the pool?
New York Islanders 2022 Mock Draft: Rounds 1 through 7
Round 1 Pick 13: Cutter Gauthier (LW)
Solid name. Solid winger. Solid pick for the New York Islanders. His production is top-notch at the USDNP and the USHL this past season. At 6'3" 203lbs, his size lends itself well to the pros already. But at 18, he's got time to develop into that frame and into his skills.
Maybe, you've grown hesitant to drafting big wingers on account of Michael Dal Colle. And I'm not going to sit here and guarantee he'll be different, but that Dal Colle draft was eight years ago, and scouting, specifically big wingers, has improved significantly since then. So, while there's no guarantee he pans out, I believe there's a good chance he does.
Round 2 Pick 63: Jagger Firkus (C/RW)
Jagger doesn't have the same size as Gauthier, Firkus is only 5'10" and 150lbs. He's small, but talent is always what matters and Firkus has talent.
His hockey IQ is at the top end of the draft as are his puck skills. This kid oozes talent. His 36 goals and 80 points in 66 games is a good statistical measure of his talent. His size is what's keeping him out of the first round in my opinion. And the Isles should, if presented the opportunity, immediately draft him.
Round 3 Pick 77: Topias Leinonen (G)
With Henrik Tikkanen moving on, the Islanders are short on goalie talent in the prospect pool. They have but Tristan Lennox and Jakub Skarek in the prospect pool to count on.
Leinonen is the top-rated goalie in the draft. He's a big lad, not as large as Tikkanen and his 6'8" frame, but Leinonen is 6'5" and 234lbs, he's a big kid in his own right. At the U20 level, he's got a 0.916SV% and a 2.28GAA in 21 games. Solid numbers for him.
It will take some time for Leinonen to be North America ready but at 18 years old, they'll have his rights for four years. Plenty of time to see what he can become before an NHL deal is necessary.
Round 5 Pick 141: Michael Fisher (RHD)
He's quite the athlete. Fischer was a top performer at the combine. His skating is top-notch. And his production at prep school was just as good.
I totally agree that he might not be available this late in the draft. I think his performance at the combine could very well see him jump up a lot higher in the draft. But he might just be there for Isles.
Round 6 Pick 173: Jeremy Langlois (D)
Smooth skating, decent size, decent production. There are some things to like with Langlois' game. Can he make the NHL? Time will tell. But with a six-round pick, you're taking a risk with anyone you draft. I like him and his potential.