Draft day is only about a week away. Where the New York Islanders bring in a new class of prospects to bolster the system. There's a strong possibility that the Isles 2022 first-round pick is traded away rather than used for a selection. So any quality they hope to pull from the draft will have to come from the second round or later.
Could they end up with a quality prospect without holding a first round pick? Sure, they did it just last year with Aatu Räty.
So, thinking of pulling quality from the later rounds I thought, why not look at some of the "steals" the Isles pulled off since 2010. Why do I draw the line at 2010? Well, because 2009 was perhaps the deepest draft we've seen in a long time. The Isles pulled quality in just about every round of that draft. So what have they been able to do after that 2009 draft?
By "steal" I'm going with a player who's had an impactful stint in the NHL that was drafted in the second round or later.
New York Islanders biggest draft steals since 2010
Ilya Sorokin 3rd Round 78th overall (2014)
Sorokin was arguably one of the three best goalies in the NHL this year. According to NHL GMs, he was the sixth-best goalie in the league. To pick that kind of quality in the third round with seven goalies being selected before him is excellent.
Adam Pelech 3rd Round 65th overall (2012)
Elite shutdown defenseman. There are few better patrolling the blueline than Adam Pelech. It certainly took him a while to become the player he is now, but then again, defensemen typically take a few years to round out into the player they'll eventually become.
Thankfully, Pelech hit. The Isles used all of their pick that year on defensemen. One was bound to hit, but Garth Snow figured it would be Reinhart to be that player and not his third-round selection.
Devon Toews 4th Round 108th overall (2014)
I know, trading him away sucked. But the Islanders didn't have much of a choice. They weren't going to be able to move Leddy. The Isles knew they were saying goodbye to a solid top-four puck-moving defenseman because they'd seen him do it for a few years.
Scott Mayfield 2nd Round 34th overall (2011)
Just like Pelech, it took some time for Mayfield to hit the NHL. He's rounded out into a good bottom-four defenseman and penalty killer.
Future Potential Steals?
It's pretty bad to see only four steals outside of the first round in the last 12 drafts. But can we, perhaps add a few names to that list in the next few years?
Here are some names that you should keep an eye on going forward:
Aatu Räty (2021 2nd)
William Dufour (2020 5th)
Samuel Bolduc (2019 2nd)
Eetu Liukas (2021 5th)