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Ranking every Islanders first-round draft pick since 2000

2016 NHL Draft - Round One
2016 NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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There have been 21 drafts so far in this new millennium. The 22nd draft in the 2000s is only a few weeks away. Getting ready for that I thought it would be interesting to look back at the last 21 drafts and rank out all the first-round picks the New York Islanders made.

When I say rank I'm talking about placing these picks into one of five tiers from Elite to Fail. So who gets placed in which tier of the of the Isles 21 first-round selections since 2000?

New York Islanders: Ranking every first-round draft pick since 2000

Elite Tier
John Tavares - 2009 1st OVR

I know things didn't end well, but there's no doubt that Tavares was an elite-level player while a member of the New York Islanders. That's even before you consider his relative value based on the rest of the Islanders first-round picks.

Tavares was nearly a point-per-game player in his entire nine-year career with the Isles. If not for that injury at the Sochi Olympics in 2014 he makes a solid case for the Hart that year. He was an elite-level player. Other players might get up into this tier if things go well for the rest of their careers, but they aren't there yet.

Really-Good Tier
Mathew Barzal - 2015 16th OVR
Noah Dobson - 2018 12th OVR
Ryan Pulock - 2013 15th OVR
Kyle Okposo - 2006 7th OVR
Rick DiPietro - 2000 1st OVR

A lot of really good players here. But what strikes me the most is that in the nine years between Okposo and Pulock that was only one player that was either ranked as Really-Good or Elite. And the Isles made five top 10 picks in that span. Ouch.

Mathew Barzal and Noah Dobson have the potential to jump up to the Elite tier eventually. Assuming their career take a step forward over the next few years. Although, in Barzal's case you could argue that he's had a few years to show he's an elite-level player but hasn't and so should never move up. John Tavares was able to perform well even without much support.

Good Tier
Oliver Wahlstrom - 2018 11th OVR
Anthony Beauvillier - 2015 28th OVR
Ryan Strome - 2011 5th OVR
Nino Niedereitter - 2010 5th OVR
Josh Bailey - 2008 9th OVR

Oliver Wahlstrom has the potential to jump up a tier if things start going well over the next few years. And with a new coach, the potential is high that he does the thing. Maybe Beau can too, but I don't think that will happen unless he's given consistent top-line minutes. And that's a "maybe".

I didn't know what to do with Nino here. He wasn't good with the Isles but they never really gave him a shot and the second he left he became a capable middle-six winger in the league. So that's why I've left him here in the good tier.

Meh Tier
Simon Holmstrom - 2019 23rd OVR
Kieffer Bellows - 2016 19th OVR
Petteri Nokalainen - 2004 16th OVR
Robert Nilsson - 2003 15th OVR
Sean Bergenheim - 2002 22nd OVR

Kieffer Bellows and Simon Holmstrom could jump up into the good tier eventually, but as things stand right now they're stuck in the 'meh' tier. Holmstrom who's basiaclly Bailey 2.0 could hit the good tier once he gets an NHL role.

Bellows who's finally shown he can hit the NHL later this year.

Fail Tier
Michael Dal Colle - 2014 5th OVR
Josh Ho-Sang - 2014 28th OVR
Griffin Reinhart - 2012 4th OVR
Ryan O'Mara - 2005 15th OVR
Raffi Torres - 2000 5th OVR

What a rough two-year window for the Islanders. Two top-four picks and a late first-rounder all failed. What could have been if the Islanders were able to hit on those picks?

That could have changed a lot for the Isles if they could have either picked the right players in 12 and 14 or developed them to match their potential. If the Isles get a top-six power forward out of Dal Colle and a top-four defenseman out of Reinhart and that changes a lot for them in the latter portion of the Snow era.

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