Islanders: Ranking last 10 first rounders from worst to best

2019 NHL Draft - Round One
2019 NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The entry draft is on my mind. It will be until it happens in early July. I'm sure I'm not the only New York Islanders fan that's in the same mindset. The next few weeks will be dedicated to thinking who the Islanders might draft in 2022.

But when you think of the future you unintentionally also think of the past. So when I think about who the Islanders might draft I also think of the players they did draft.

So with that, I'm looking at the last ten first-round selections by the Islanders and ranking them from worst to best.

Griffin Reinhart | 2012 4th Overall

You knew Reinhart would be the first one up and the worst one. As the fourth overall selection in 2012, Reinhart had big expectations to fill. He was supposed to be a top-pair defenseman for the Isles in a few years' time.

That did not pan out. Reinhart should be at his peak right now but he's not even in the NHL. Heck, it seems like he's retiring from professional hockey. That was not supposed to happen.

Sure the Islanders eventually traded him for Barzal and Beauvillier but that's not what he was drafted to do. Getting what the Islanders got out of him via trade was the best-case scenario from a worst-case situation.

Michael Dal Colle | 2014 5th Overall

Again, another player drafted high up in the draft that hasn't yet made an impact at the NHL level. There's still time for Dal Colle I suppose. He's doing well at the AHL level and could be considered for a bottom-six position at the NHL level. But we're going on year eight since he was drafted and still, no impact at the NHL level, yet.

But like Reinhart, that's not what the Islanders were hoping for when they drafted him. He was supposed to be a power forward that would be a staple of the Isles top-6 for years. Being a replacement-level player places him near the bottom of the list.

New York Islanders v New York Rangers
New York Islanders v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Josh Ho-Sang | 2014 28th Overall

Some of you might have Ho-Sang lower on the list because he played much less NHL hockey than Michael Dal Colle has. And I don't blame you if you do.

To me, the difference lies in where Ho-Sang was drafted vs where Dal Colle was drafted. Not to mention that we all knew the risks that accompanied drafting Josh Ho-Sang. It was a high-risk high-reward selection. The Isles could be getting an elite playmaker or they could be getting someone who'll cause a lot of disappointment.

With 53 NHL games, we got the latter, unfortunately. Lay blame where you will but it was not a good selection by the Islanders.

Simon Holmstrom | 2019 24th Overall

There's still time for Simon Holmstrom to turn into something. But with three years of North American professional experience under his belt, he hasn't yet broken into the NHL. Unlike the two players who were drafted immediately after him; Philip Tomasino and Connor McMichael.

Both players were seen as first-round talents while Holmstrom was seen as an early second-round pick. Tomasino has 32 points in 76 NHL games with Nashville while McMichael has 18 points in 69 games with Washington.

Again, there's time for Holmstrom to get to their level and maybe even excel beyond them. But being behind already isn't great. The Islanders reached for Holmstrom and they got what they deserved for doing so. At least so far.

New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens
New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Kieffer Bellows | 2016 19th Overall

Six years. It's been six years since the Islanders drafted Kieffer Bellows and he hasn't really stood out until this past year when he scored 19 points in 45 games.

He was physical, he played some decent defensive hockey, and, more importantly, he scored fairly consistently. Bellows can clearly play at the NHL level. Now it's seeing how high his ceiling is.

It's probably a middle-six winger and may be closer to a third-line player when it's all said and done. And while you'll take that, we all had the hope he'd maybe be a bit more if not reach that potential a lot sooner than year seven after the draft.

Anthony Beauvillier | 2015 28th Overall

This is where things start getting tough. Why does one player move up over another? For what he's done at the NHL, what he could do at the NHL, or was he the best pick they could have made based on where they drafted?

Again, it's getting tough.

I've got Beauvillier at fifth overall because of his up and down performances. He's got the potential to be more but in four years at the NHL, we haven't seen more than a player who can be best described as hot-and-cold.

Good pick? Yeah. Could the Islanders have selected a better player? Maybe, Sebastian Aho being selected seven picks later would have been reaaal nice, but hindsight is 20-20.

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders
Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Oliver Wahlstrom | 2018 11th Overall

The Islanders couldn't have made a better selection than Oliver Wahlstrom. Maybe Joel Farabee, but that would still be a stretch to suggest.

And look, Wahlstrom has shown a lot of quality in his 126 NHL games. Yes, this was a down year for him but with a new coach could come a new lease on life in the NHL. And that might be all it takes for Wahlstrom to hit the highs we know he's capable of.

What is that high exactly? It's a top line winger who should score 30 goals a year at the NHL level.

Ryan Pulock | 2013 15th Overall

Like Wahlstrom, it took a while for Pulock to hit the highs we knew he was capable of. But now in 2022, the 15th overall pick in 2013 has become a clear top-pair defenseman.

Pulock's production has slowed down in recent years, but he's not at an age where he can't get back to what he used to be. And while the production is a bit lower his impact on the game hasn't waned. He's still an elite defensive player who can shut down the opponent's best players night in and night out.

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Noah Dobson | 2018 12th Overall

He's only in his third NHL season, but he's already done something that hasn't been seen on the Island since 2008-09, and that's 50+ points in a single season from a defenseman.

And he hasn't yet peaked as a player. Noah Dobson still has a lot of room to grow. And he can already be considered as a top-pair defenseman. It's only up from here for Dobson. And again, it's only year three of his NHL career.

Mathew Barzal | 2015 16th Overall

What a selection by the Islanders. The Boston Bruins must be kicking themselves for not getting Mathew Barzal when they had three kicks at the can with picks 13, 14, and 15 at the 2015 draft.

The production is lower than we'd like to see over the last few years, but Barzal has been largely on his own and in a defensive system it's not easy to put up the 85 points in 82 games Barzal put up in 2018-19.

But with 311 points in 362 NHL games, Barzal is easily the top pick in these last ten first-round selections. And to think, the Isles didn't have a first-round pick in 2015. They only got that after moving Griffin Reinhart to Edmonton. Pretty impressive how the worst gave the Islanders the best.