NHL Mock draft has the NY Islanders selecting a future JG Pageau replacement

Guelph Storm v Oshawa Generals
Guelph Storm v Oshawa Generals / Chris Tanouye/GettyImages

The New York Islanders have already traded their first-round pick (18th overall) to the Chicago Blackhawks but are currently slotted to pick 20th overall at this year's draft, which is scheduled for June 28th at The Sphere in Las Vegas. It's been five years since the Islanders picked a player in the first round (Simon Holmstrom, 2019), and it's no guarantee that GM Lou Lamoriello will retain this one, but until then, Islanders fans get to scroll through mock drafts and see their team's name.

In a recent mock draft by prospect analyst Cory Pronman of The Athletic, the Islanders selected Jett Luchanko with the 20th pick. Viewed as a player who has been slightly undervalued by the amateur scouting community, the right-handed center scored 20 goals and registered 54 assists for Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) last season as a 17-year-old.

He's described as a two-way center with tenacity and a high hockey IQ that was used by his team in all types of situations last season. Sound familiar? "Luchanko’s stock is on the rise with NHL teams, and I expect him to go around the 20th spot. He’s an excellent skater and competitor who may remind some of Islanders veteran Jean-Gabriel Pageau," wrote Pronman earlier this week.

There are questions about Luchanko's size and shot at the next level, but what isn't in dispute is his intangibles. He consistently shows good instincts, the ability to read plays, and possesses enough speed to be explosive in big moments. In January, he finished top overall at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects on-ice testing event, which tested players on skating with and without the puck, skating backward, their weave and transition ability, and their reaction time.

His stock has been steadily rising since he received a "B" rating from NHL Central Scouting in the Fall. That grade projects him to be a 2nd or 3rd-round pick, but in this year's draft, he's forecasted by most as a mid-to-late first-round pick, with there being a chance that the team likes him enough to select him in the top-15. If teams like the Islanders are looking for a committed two-way center that can play in the top-six or bottom-six, Luchanko should be on their radar later this month at the draft.